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18 August 2017

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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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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15 August 2017

Sol 1786: ChemCam anomaly

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.

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11 August 2017

Sol 1782 Blog: Touch and go, two days in a row!

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.

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10 August 2017

Sol 1781 Blog: Dusting off the wheels and hitting the road!

We’re finally ready to dust off the wheels and get back to driving towards Vera Rubin Ridge. Today was a pretty smooth day of planning, as we’re still getting back into the swing of things.

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6 August 2017

Sol 1777: Easing back into mission planning

As Mars comes out from behind the Sun, scientists are easing back into operations planning for the Curiosity rover.

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3 August 2017

Help NASA collect 2017 Solar Eclipse data

The 2017 solar eclipse presents many opportunities for everyone to get involved in doing science before/during/after the eclipse. NASA has collected a number of citizen science programs at every level from the most basic observations to publishable research opportunities in partnership with NASA and university scientists.

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26 July 2017

Summer Heat Too Much for You? NASA has Just the Place for You!

The James Webb telescope is designed to detect light in the infrared portion of the spectrum, and its instruments will only work at a temp. of just a few degrees above absolute zero! But how do you test them?? This is how! The room will keep getting colder and colder. NASA has a live webcam of the room online with a look at the indoor and outdoor temperatures at the …

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19 July 2017

A Different Way of Visualizing The Global Temperature Rise

Gavin Schmidt at NASA GISS posted the graphic below on Twitter Tuesday night and it quickly spread like wildfire. We are used to seeing the graphs with hockey stick endings of the global temperature but showing it in a sequence of normal distributions (bell curves) by month, and ending it with the data of the last two years noted, gives one a new and rather stark perspective. You can see an animation …

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17 July 2017

Sol 1756: Closing time

July 13 marked the last chance for us to reliably command Curiosity before she, and Mars, disappear behind the Sun for about three weeks.

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16 July 2017

Sol 1755: Getting Ready to Disappear Behind the Sun

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 …

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11 July 2017

Sol 1753: Wishful Thinking

The Curiosity Rover activities planned for Sol 1753 revolve around a quick ‘touch-and-go’ chemistry measurement using the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument on Curiosity’s arm.

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6 July 2017

Sol 1747: Martian Fruit Salad

A high level of charge in Curiosity’s batteries after the long holiday weekend allowed us to prepare a bounty of science observations.

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29 June 2017

Sol 1744: Up the Vera Rubin Ridge and Around the Sand Trap

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.

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27 June 2017

Sols 1741-1743: "Cat Sized Island"

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.

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Sol 1739 – 1740: More Touch and Go on the Way to Vera Rubin Ridge

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.

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24 June 2017

Sol 1736-1739: A Roving Astronomer

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.

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20 June 2017

Sols 1734-1735: Gazing Longingly towards Vera Rubin Ridge

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.

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18 June 2017

Sols 1732-1733: Marching Ahead towards Vera Rubin Ridge

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!

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16 June 2017

Sol 1729 – 1731: Roving Right Along

The drive on Sol 1728 was successful, and our weekend plan will be chock-full of activities. On the first sol, we will do some contact science on the rather colorful workspace that is currently in front of the Curiosity rover.

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