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18 August 2017
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.
11 August 2017
Yesterday’s drive brought us 6 meters higher in elevation, so another touch and go for today it is! We’ll analyze the Murray target ‘Thorne’ with APXS and MAHLI, followed by a short ChemCam observation on the same target.
9 August 2017
Curiosity’s Navcam will image for clouds (like the clouds in the above image from Sol 1758), scan for dust devils across the crater basin, and measure the LOS extinction of dust towards the crater rim.
6 August 2017
As Mars comes out from behind the Sun, scientists are easing back into operations planning for the Curiosity rover.
17 July 2017
July 13 marked the last chance for us to reliably command Curiosity before she, and Mars, disappear behind the Sun for about three weeks.
16 July 2017
Planetary scientists take their vacations when the planets align. In our case it is because communications with Mars are blacked out when the red planet goes behind the sun. It is called a solar conjunction. Afterwards, Mars will re-appear in our terrestrial skies early in the morning, just before sunrise. As the Earth chases the Red Planet, Mars will rise earlier until at opposition, when the Earth passes Mars a …
12 July 2017
Today on Mars we planned a typical ‘drive sol’ that involved a bit of pre-drive science followed by a drive and some post-drive untargeted observations.
10 July 2017
Following a jam-packed weekend of contact and remote science on some beautiful sand deposits, the GEO group opted for mostly remote observations in today’s plan.
8 July 2017
Curiosity has intentionally scuffed a nearby sand ripple, which has gifted the team with an exceptional view of the interior of these small sand deposits.
6 July 2017
A high level of charge in Curiosity’s batteries after the long holiday weekend allowed us to prepare a bounty of science observations.
29 June 2017
I was the Surface Properties Scientist, or SPS, on staff again today. After completing a successful drive, Curiosity arrived at a nice workspace to carry out the weekend plan.
27 June 2017
Last evening (June 27) between 8pm and 9pm PDT, Curiosity drove approximately 34 meters to the east to position herself just north of a large field of ripples on her way closer to ascending the iron oxide-bearing Vera Rubin Ridge. As Curiosity progresses towards the east, scientists back on Earth continue to look for opportunities to both gaze ahead towards interesting locations on the ridge itself, in addition to looking at the local rocks and sediment surrounding the rover.
This past weekend, Curiosity continued to journey east along the contact between the lower portion of Vera Rubin Ridge and the Murray formation with a drive that was a little over 20 m long.
24 June 2017
Curiosity has presented us with another beautiful workspace following a 16.6 meter drive. The majority of this week’s activities were focused on imaging Vera Rubin Ridge to observe its stratigraphic and structural relationship to the underlying Murray formation.
20 June 2017
Curiosity continues to drive to the east-northeast around two small patches of dunes that are positioned just north of Vera Rubin Ridge. Once beyond this easternmost dune patch, the plan is for her to turn to the southeast and towards the location identified as the safest place for Curiosity to ascend the ridge.
18 June 2017
As this is my first time contributing to the Curiosity rover blog, I’d like to quickly introduce myself to you all. I’m Mark, an MSL Participating Scientist and a faculty member at Northern Arizona University, trained in geochemistry, spectroscopy, and remote sensing. I’m excited to help walk you all through the daily endeavors of this wonderful rover and mission!