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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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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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14 April 2017

Sols 1666-1667: Moosehead Lake

Curiosity’s drive on Sol 1664 was halted after the rover had driven less than 2 meters because the angle of the left bogie slightly exceeded the suspension limit.

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Sols 1664-1665: Keep on driving

The Curiosity rover drove about 24 meters on Sol 1662, and another drive is planned for Sol 1664. Before the drive, lots of targeted remote sensing is planned…

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8 April 2017

Sols 1661-1663: DAN has been busy

Our drive away from the “Ogunquit Beach” sand dune location went well, taking us about 35 meters to the southwest and putting us in a good location to continue measuring the composition of the bedrock as we drive up Mt. Sharp.

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4 April 2017

Sols 1654-1656 MAHLI imaging of OG1 and remote sensing

Today’s three-sol plan starts with MAHLI imaging of the first scoop location (OG1). The first sol also includes Mastcam and MARDI imaging for change detection.

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30 March 2017

Sol 1653: Targeted science at Ogunquit Beach

Yesterday afternoon the downlink included some results of ongoing drill feed diagnostics that warrant a further look before proceeding with the dune campaign, so the arm activities from Sol 1652 were pulled from the plan and we did not drop-off to CheMin. But we did receive some beautiful images of scoop OG1, as shown in the above Mastcam image.

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29 March 2017

Sol 1652: CheMin drop-off and SAM Analysis

Sol 1651 activities executed nominally, so today’s plan is focused on dropping off the fine-grained portion of “Ogunquit Beach” Scoop #1 (now named “OG1”) to CheMin, and SAM analysis of OG1.

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Sol 1651: Scoop #1 at Ogunquit Beach

Sol 1650 activities completed as expected, so it’s time to start scooping. Today’s plan is focused on acquiring Scoop #1 and dropping off a portion of the sample to SAM.

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28 March 2017

Sol 1650: Let the scooping begin!

Over the weekend, Curiosity bumped to our scooping location at “Ogunquit Beach.” We have a wheel scuff in the left side of our workspace and a sinuous ripple crest in the right side of the workspace, which according to today’s Geology Science Theme Lead Michelle Minitti is “everything a dune lover could want!”

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24 March 2017

Sols 1647-1649: Approaching the dune edge

The traction control test went well, and Curiosity drove over 30 meters on Sol 1646. The rover will be busy this weekend with lots of remote sensing, arm work, and a drive onto the edge of the dune.

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23 March 2017

Sol 1645: Searching for dust devils

An excellent example of two different instruments working together to improve our understanding of the meteorology of Gale Crater and dust lifting processes on Mars as Curiosity traverses up Mount Sharp.

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21 March 2017

Sol 1644: Staying put

The Sol 1644 plan for Curiosity focuses on arm activities, because the volume of data expected to be relayed via the MRO and Mars Odyssey orbiters in time for planning tomorrow is too small to allow both a drive and drill diagnostic tests.  So the tactical science team took advantage of the opportunity for contact science by planning APXS and MAHLI observations of bedrock targets named “The Hop” and “The Horns.”  …

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20 March 2017

Sol 1643: First half of long-baseline stereo

Curiosity drove about 28 meters toward the south on Sol 1642 and again is in an area with Murray Formation bedrock blocks surrounded by dark sand.

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14 March 2017

Sol 1637: Stop 3

Yesterday’s short drive was successful, so we started today with the rover parked at stop #3 of the dune campaign and the rover’s arm up in the “ready out” position.

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13 March 2017

Sol 1636: Another Early Morning

Thankfully I wasn’t actually on duty today, because with daylight savings time Arizona is now on West-coast time, and planning started at 6:30am! In any case, the weekend plan was successful, and put us close to the third stop of the current campaign to study the Bagnold Dunes.

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10 March 2017

Sols 1634-1635: Back to nominal MAHLI planning

Curiosity drove about 29 meters toward the south on Sol 1632, and is in a good position for weekend activities.

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