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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.


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!


3 December 2016

Sols 1538-1540: Targeted Remote Sensing

We’re still at the “Precipice” site, assessing the composition and sedimentary structures in the Murray bedrock and carrying out some long distance observations.


1 December 2016

Sol 1537: Drill fault

The drill failed, so onto other science while the drill fault is studied.


30 November 2016

Sol 1536: Drilling "Precipice"

We expect that the Precipice target is soft enough that the experiment will go well, but of course we won’t know until we try! Drilling and associated imaging will require enough power and time that additional observations could not be added to the plan.


28 November 2016

Sol 1534: Preparing to drill

Curiosity had a productive Thanksgiving weekend and now we are getting ready to drill at “Precipice.” Sol 1534 begins with MAHLI imaging of the post-sieve dump pile from the previous drill sample (“Sebina”). Then we have a short science block to acquire a ChemCam passive observation and a Mastcam multispectral observation of the dump pile.


25 November 2016

Sols 1531-1533: Thanksgiving at Precipice

While the rover is busy with all of that, the Americans on the MSL team will be celebrating Thanksgiving, and thinking about how thankful we are that we get to work on such an amazing project with such great colleagues!


22 November 2016

Sols 1528-1530: Fifteen Kilometers!

Our weekend plan for Curiosity went as expected, including a ~16 meter drive which brings us to our next drill target: “Precipice.” That drive also brings our total drive distance from Bradbury Landing to just over 15 km! We have a three sol plan today as we head into the long holiday weekend and prepare for drilling next week.


19 November 2016

Sols 1525-1527: Contact science at Sutton Island and approaching the next drill site

Mars as close as your nose.


16 November 2016

Sols 1523-1524: Investigating Sutton Island

Today’s plan is focused on contact science to study the grain size, stratification, and chemistry of the “Sutton Island” outcrop.


14 November 2016

Sols 1516-1520: Playing in the Sand

We’re continuing to make steady progress, with successful drives interspersed with plenty of good science.


7 November 2016

Sols 1514-1515: Touch and Go at Southwest Harbor

Our weekend plan was successful, with lots of good observations and a 43 meter drive. Today’s 2-sol plan starts out with a brief contact science block, during which MAHLI will observe the target “Southwest Harbor.” After that, we have a remote sensing block. ChemCam will observe some nodules in the targets “Asticou” and “Bass Harbor Head.” Mastcam will document those targets, as well as the Sol 1513 ChemCam AEGIS target. …


6 November 2016

Sols 1511-1513: Brushing Penobscot

Sol 1513 starts with another ChemCam observation using AEGIS and Mastcam measurements of atmospheric dust opacity. Finally, CheMin will read out the data resulting from the recent analysis of empty sample cells and MARDI will acquire another image during twilight. The rover will then get some well-earned rest and charge her batteries overnight. It was a busy morning for me and the other MAHLI/MARDI uplink leads, but we’re happy with the plan!


2 November 2016

Sols 1509-1510: No contact science

Planning is restricted, so we are planning 2 sols today. On Sol 1509, Navcam will search for dust devils and ChemCam will acquire passive spectra of “Ellsworth,” another target in the area about 500 meters away where orbital data indicate the presence of clay minerals.


1 November 2016

Sol 1508: A sandy spot

Mastcam will acquire a full multispectral set of images of “Thunder Hole,” an area about 500 meters away that shows evidence for clays in data acquired from orbit. Then ChemCam and Mastcam will observe a bedrock target named “Ingraham Point.”


31 October 2016

Sol 1507: What’s lurking in Blackwoods and Witch Hole Pond?

Happy Halloween from Mars! Over the weekend Curiosity drove 51 m further to the south, and we continue to investigate the Murray formation.  I was the GSTL and KOP today (what a treat!) and we had a busy morning trying to decide whether or not to do contact science or more remote sensing.  We decided to forego contact science in favor of some additional ChemCam and Mastcam observations.  In the …


29 October 2016

Sol 1503: Simple Plan

Today’s plan for sol 1503 is pretty straightforward: We start off with a ChemCam observation and Mastcam documentation of the target “Somesville” to study how the composition of the bedrock changes across a light-to-dark transition.


26 October 2016

Sol 1502: Short Drive

More Martian bedrock observations after a 46-meter drive.


25 October 2016

Sol 1501: Welcome to Bar Harbor

Prior to landing we divided up the landing ellipse and nearby areas into square quads (1.5 km on a side), and assigned each quad a name of a town with a population of less than 100,000 people.


24 October 2016

Sol 1500: So long Sebina

Today’s plan is focused on targeted remote sensing and driving. The morning science block includes ChemCam observations on the targets “Ranaka” and “Seleka” to assess the composition of the local bedrock.