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25 September 2017

Sol 1827: It’s déjà vu all over again

Just when we thought we were going to leave this spot on Mars, we found ourselves stuck here for yet another sol.

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23 September 2017

Sol 1824-1826: Reality and Fantasy Collide

At times, it seems like fantasy that we have a nuclear-powered car exploring Mars and that I get to help that exploration, including today as the Science Operations Working Group Chair.

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21 September 2017

Sol 1823: "Will you come with me, sweet Reader?"

Curiosity continues her traverse across the lowermost portions of Vera Rubin Ridge, where she continues to investigate the interesting rock textures and colors ahead.

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20 September 2017

Sol 1822: Onward and upward!

Curiosity successfully completed contact science activities at ‘Pennessewassee’ and ‘Passadumkeag’.

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19 September 2017

Sol 1821: Heading for Half a Million Laser Shots

Yestersol Curiosity missed its ‘phone call’ from Earth due to a small issue at one of NASA’s Deep Space Network stations.

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Sol 1820: What lay beneath

Curiosity’s weekend ‘Brushfest’ (link to Ken’s weekend blog) paid off, revealing the stunning purple color of the rocks of this part of the Vera Rubin Ridge…

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13 September 2017

Sol 1815 – 1816: Stopping to Smell the Rocks

Planning for Curiosity this morning was a bit like reading a great mystery novel. There were several twists and turns along the way…

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Sols 1811-1814: Mars of Many Colors

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.

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12 September 2017

Sol 1814: Spectacular views

Curiosity’s approach to and ascent of the Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR) has provided us with stunning views of the Mount Sharp terrain.

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10 September 2017

Sol 1809: "Thread of Life Ledge" at Elevation -4202 Meters

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.

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4 September 2017

Sols 1805-1808: No rest for the weary

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!

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30 August 2017

Sol 1802: Stereo party

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).

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29 August 2017

Sol 1800 – 1801 Blog: Feeling the Power of Sol 1800

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.

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28 August 2017

Sol 1797-1799: Scrutinizing Vera Rubin Ridge

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.

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22 August 2017

Sol 1795: Skirting around Vera Rubin Ridge

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.

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20 August 2017

Sol 1793: It’s Always Sunny in Gale Crater

Not to be overshadowed by other goings on in the solar system, we planned a full day of activities for Curiosity on Monday.

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18 August 2017

Sols 1790-1792: A Science-Filled Weekend

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…

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Sol 1789: Inching Closer

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.

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17 August 2017

Sol 1788: Continuing up the Vera Rubin Ridge

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.

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16 August 2017

Sol 1787: Less Driving, More Science

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.

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