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21 May 2017

Sols 1702-1704: An island of science

The rover planners parked us in front of the one slab of outcrop – an island among ripples of sand – we could safely drive to from our Sol 1700 position, setting us up to continue our exploration of the Murray formation.

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18 May 2017

Sols 1700-1701: Optical depth measurements

Curiosity continues towards Vera Rubin Ridge with a 48 m drive. GEO decided for the touch-and-go option (instead of lengthening the drive like on Sol 1684) using APXS and MAHLI on “Ripple Pond,” a typical member of the Murray formation.

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14 May 2017

Sols 1695 -1697: Observations of land, rover and sky

Curiosity continued her detailed investigation of the interesting suite of outcrops we have been picking our way across during the last week. As we climb up Mount Sharp, recently over slopes of 4-6 degrees, we have seen more varied outcrop structures and chemistries than the rest of the Murray formation, and such changes catch the collective eye of the team.

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9 May 2017

Sol 1692: Science frenzy!

After the drive on Sol 1691, the workspace in front of the Curiosity rover had plenty of interesting rocks in front of us to keep us busy.

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Sols 1693-1694: Remote science and onward!

Today we planned two sols, 1693 and 1694. On the first sol, we will conduct a suite of remote science observations before driving away and resuming our trek up Mount Sharp.

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8 May 2017

Sol 1688 – 1690: Sand between our grousers

We’ve been getting some really interesting data down from our investigation of a large sand drift (megaripple), so we packed in many more observations to assess the full variability of the sandy materials before driving away and continuing our climb up Mt. Sharp.

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6 May 2017

Sol 1687: Mega-science at a megaripple!

The Curiosity rover planners executed another great drive to park us in front of a megaripple in order to study its physical and chemical characteristics, which we can compare and contrast to the sands we investigated during our recent Bagnold dune campaign.

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3 May 2017

Sol 1686: March to the Megaripples

Continuing the steady march up Mt. Sharp, Curiosity drove 18.3 m to bring us closer to a series of features being called megaripples, which are darker and larger ripples than were seen on the Bagnold Dunes.

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2 May 2017

Sol 1685: Touch and Go or Just Go (Again)?

Planning rover science activities is a dynamic process. Unlike yestersol’s plan, the Geology Theme Group decided to include an APXS and MAHLI “touch-and-go” in the plan, carrying out valuable contact science on the layered Murray bedrock.

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27 April 2017

Sol 1680: Mesmerized by the Murray Formation

After a 30 meter drive on Sol 1679, we find ourselves near diverse outcrops of the Murray formation. We plan to drive on today across the Murray formation towards Vera Rubin Ridge.

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23 April 2017

Sol 1677: Some Murray in hand

This morning we woke up to fresh images from Curiosity that showed our surroundings after an ~17 m Sunday afternoon drive. I always really enjoy days like this because, even after 1,676 sols and just under 16.1 kilometers of driving, it still thrills me to look at images from unexplored areas of Mars.

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Thousands Stand Up for Mankind’s Greatest Invention- Science

Thousands of scientists from around the world did something that seemed unimaginable a few years ago. They stood up and made their voices heard in defense of science. Thousands of scientists braved a steady light rain and cool temperatures to gather on the Mall in Washington today and then marched toward the Capitol. The rain was not a surprise because the forecast for the day was nearly spot-on (thanks to …

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20 April 2017

Sol 1674: Slipping into a new plan

In the Sol 1673 drive, the rover planners aimed us for a nice curb of Murray bedrock which we could investigate with targeted science (with Mastcam and ChemCam) and contact science (with APXS, MAHLI and the dust removal tool (DRT)) over the weekend.

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19 April 2017

Sol 1673: Planning with plenty of "Moxie"

There’s nothing like a day of technical difficulties to make you appreciate when it all works! The science team bounced back from yesterday’s challenging planning day with a vengeance, planning an amazingly full suite of observations of the rock – and sky! – around us.

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18 April 2017

Sol 1672: If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!

On Tuesday, the science team had a “soliday”, a day without planning to allow the time when the science team plans activities on Earth to realign favorably with when the rover is ready to accept and execute those plans.

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17 April 2017

Sol 1671: More Rocks Out the Front Window

Meanwhile, back on Mars, Curiosity nailed the 34 meter drive to another rock exposure identified in orbital images. Ever since we observed possible mud cracks at Old Soaker the rover team has been pursuing the idea that Curiosity is exploring strata that represent occasional dry-lake periods.

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12 April 2017

NASA Releases New Black Marble Image

The Suomi Satellite MODIS VIIRS (my mistake- sorry. Terra and Aqua have the MODIS) sensor can see city lights very well when there are no clouds but it’s a polar orbiting satellite so it only passes by one time at night. If you want to grab a shot of the entire planet’s night lights from space, it will take you a while to find a clear night in areas where there are a …

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7 April 2017

Sols 1659-1660: Time to hit the road again

Curiosity has been carrying out a great investigation at Ogunquit Beach, but we’re still working out some issues related to the drill feed, so the decision was made to drive away in today’s plan. We’re driving away with a cache full of sand, so we can still deliver to CheMin and SAM in a future plan.

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21 March 2017

Sol 1640-1642: Better Late than Never!

The weekend plan started with some Navcam atmospheric observations, followed by ChemCam on the bedrock target “Big Moose Mountain.”

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16 March 2017

The Controversial Northeast Snow Cover in Living Color

This is an image with 1 km resolution, and if you click on the image you can get a much larger version. You can see the Susquehanna River clearly and the lack of snow near the coast as the warmer ocean air changed the snow to rain. You can download a 500-meter resolution image here. The snow forecast near the coast was very tricky and there has been some controversy …

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