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20 January 2017

Sol 1585: Examining "Jewell"

Later in the afternoon, Mastcam will measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere and Navcam will search again for dust devils. After the usual MARDI twilight image is taken, ChemCam will perform some calibration activities at various temperatures.

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18 January 2017

Sol 1584: Touch and go at Frost Pond

On Sol 1583 Curiosity drove 16 m, which set us up for touch-and-go contact science today. I was the GKOP again, and it was a fun day of planning contact science and remote sensing.

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15 January 2017

Sols 1579-1582: A 4-sol plan

We’ll use the laser to zap rock targets “Oak Bay” and “Rockport” and take Right Mastcam images of them.

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Sol 1578: Investigating sedimentary structures

Today’s plan provided another opportunity for touch and go contact science, starting with MAHLI imaging of the “Megunticook” outcrop.

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11 January 2017

Sol 1577: Another touch and go

After the drive and the post-drive imaging needed to plan Sol 1578 activities, Navcam will acquire a panorama and search for dust devils and clouds.

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10 January 2017

Sol 1576: Arm fault

Curiosity planning started 2 hours later than usual today because the Sol 1575 data needed for planning weren’t expected until almost 10 AM PST. Unfortunately, the news was not good: An arm fault prevented the MAHLI full suite from completing, leaving the camera close to the surface with its dust cover open.

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9 January 2017

Sol 1575: Investigating Dorr Mountain

After a 25-meter drive on Sol 1574, Curiosity again has bedrock exposed in her arm workspace. To balance desires to sample the composition of the rocks along the traverse and to make good progress toward the south, contact science and another drive are both planned for Sol 1575.

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8 January 2017

Sols 1572-1574: New diagnostics

Fortunately, we are able to do everything except drilling while the investigation continues, but the team has decided not to try again to drill at Precipice, and to continue driving up the flank of Aeolis Mons (“Mount Sharp”).

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5 January 2017

Sol 1571: Leaving Old Soaker

The arm will be unstowed to allow Navcam and Left Mastcam to take pictures of the area in front of the rover to aid planning for this weekend.

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4 January 2017

Sol 1570: Finishing up at Old Soaker

If all of this goes well, we will be ready to drive away from Old Soaker on Sol 1571.

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3 January 2017

Sol 1569: Back to daily planning

The activities planned for Curiosity over the holidays executed well, so we are proceeding with the investigation of the ridge/fracture patterns at Old Soaker.

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21 December 2016

Sols 1566-1568: Preparing for the holidays

“…we’ll dive right back in to a campaign investigating some interesting fracture patterns at “Old Soaker,” seen in the Mastcam image.”

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19 December 2016

Sols 1555-1557: Lots of Targets!

It’s been quite a while since we had a plan with this many new target names!

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14 December 2016

Sols 1550-1551: More drill testing

It’s been an exciting week so far!

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Finger-like structures on Mars could be the result of ancient microbes

Finger-like rock structures on Mars could harbor potential evidence of past life on the Red Planet, according to new research. In 2007, NASA’s Spirit rover landed on Mars’ “Home Plate,” a flat 90-meter-long area within the Gusev crater. Since then, researchers have been trying to make sense of finger-like rock structures splayed across the landscape. The working hypothesis at the time was that these rocks started out as continuous layers but eroded into odd shapes by the touch of wind and sand over the years.

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12 December 2016

Sols 1548-1549: Still at Precipice

The American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting is happening this week, so many scientists on the team (your trusty bloggers included!) are either in San Francisco or on their way here. Tomorrow morning is the main session discussing the latest Curiosity results, and there will be a press conference at 11:30am (California time) that you can watch live!

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9 December 2016

Sols 1545-1547: Moving again!

It’s great to be moving again with a very full weekend plan!

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8 December 2016

Sol 1544: Diagnostics and Remote Sensing

…In the meantime, the science team is getting ready for the American Geophysical Union conference next week, so we had some great science discussion presentations that will be shared at the meeting next week!

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6 December 2016

Sol 1542: More drill testing

Curiosity’s ChemCam will observe Hunters Beach again to further investigate the the chemical variations that LIBS measured there previously. ChemCam and the Right Mastcam will also observe bedrock targets “Sargent Mountain” and “Youngs Mountain.” Finally, Navcam and Mastcam will take one more set of images at 8 AM on Sol 1543, to complete the photometry dataset started on Sol 1537.

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5 December 2016

Sol 1541: Change detection

This is really important for planning MAHLI observations, because we’ve noticed a lot of movement of fines through this area at this time of year, and we’ve mostly been taking MAHLI images with the dust cover closed to protect the instrument. If we can better understand when and where the sand is most active, we can better plan MAHLI observations, and we can improve our understanding of the eolian environment!

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