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13 September 2017
Planning for Curiosity this morning was a bit like reading a great mystery novel. There were several twists and turns along the way…
The focus of the weekend plan fro Curiosity was on carefully documenting the changes in stratigraphy as we leave the Murray bedrock. Fortunately, we are privy to a bevy of interesting targets and contrasting colors.
10 September 2017
Curiosity is on the steepest part of Vera Rubin Ridge that it will encounter along its climb. The machine is performing superbly, having driven a 28 meter distance yestersol and having climbed 18 meters vertical elevation in four planning sols.
5 September 2017
The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
4 September 2017
Imagine you were asked to dribble a soccer ball, juggle and sing a show tune while making your last push up the hill. Now you know how Curiosity feels this weekend!
30 August 2017
Curiosity’s drive on Sol 1801 brought us to an excellent location for some contact and remote science in today’s 3-sol plan (setting up for a long Labor Day weekend).
29 August 2017
Curiosity drove 23.3 meters over the weekend, bringing us even closer to the area we will ascend Vera Rubin Ridge. We have reached the point in the traverse where we are no longer headed east along the ridge, but instead are turning to the south where orbital data show the ridge has slopes shallow enough for Curiosity to climb.
28 August 2017
Yesterday’s drive went perfectly, putting us in a good position for a busy weekend plan. Curiosity will start off on Sol 1797 with a long (2h 45m) science block full of a variety of remote sensing.
27 August 2017
Curiosity completed a 30.3 meter drive yestersol, climbing another 2.4 meters in elevation. The rover is still in a soil-dominated region near the base of ‘Vera Rubin Ridge.’
23 August 2017
New data gathered by the Mars Curiosity rover indicates a potential history of hydrothermal activity at Gale Crater on the red planet, broadening the variety of habitable conditions once present there, scientists report in a new study. Researchers found concentrations of the elements zinc and germanium to be 10 to 100 times greater in sedimentary rocks in Gale Crater compared to the typical Martian crust.
22 August 2017
Curiosity is now tantalizingly close to climbing up Vera Rubin Ridge. For the past several weeks we have been skirting around the ridge, documenting sedimentary structures and bedrock composition along the way as we work toward our intended ascent route.
21 August 2017
We had a nice long pre-drive science block which we stuffed with 2 ChemCam observations to measure the chemistry of targets ‘Boiler’ and ‘Biljim’ as well as a ChemCam image mosaic of the Vera Rubin Ridge
20 August 2017
Not to be overshadowed by other goings on in the solar system, we planned a full day of activities for Curiosity on Monday.
18 August 2017
Even though Curiosity did not drive the planned 15 meters yesterday evening (she only made it about 11 meters), she moved far enough down the road to get in good position to acquire a full high-resolution mosaic of Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR) over the weekend…
As Curiosity inches closer towards ascending Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), the science team is continuing to be diligent in both characterizing the local surroundings while also looking ahead and imaging the ridge upon approach.
17 August 2017
I was the Surface Properties Scientist, or SPS, on staff today. After completing a successful drive back to the strategic route to continue up the Vera Rubin Ridge, Curiosity arrived at a workspace filled with sand and a lone rock outcrop dubbed ‘Dumplings Island’ seen in the center of the included image.
16 August 2017
At the start of operations, we discovered that the drive yestersol faulted prematurely after about only 15 m, which was roughly half the expected distance. The drive halted because one of the middle wheels experienced a large up and down motion as if going over a large rock.
15 August 2017
Curiosity Rover drove over 32 meters last weekend, to a sandy area with a few bedrock blocks, but ChemCam suffered an anomaly and was marked sick after the acquisition of the first RMI mosaic of Vera Rubin Ridge.
12 August 2017
Curiosity sidled up to the base of the Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), whose proximity is evidenced by the 12 degree upward tilt of the rover’s parking position, for an extended suite of imaging of the ridge and its surroundings.