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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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14 June 2017

Sol 1728 Blog: Remote science and drive on

After a busy day of contact science yesterday, today’s Curiosity rover plan was dedicated towards remote science and driving. As Mastcam PUL-1 today, I was fairly busy helping put together a suite of Mastcam images for Curiosity to take.

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28 May 2017

How To Get Your Science Noticed? Get The Government to Try and Cover It Up!

Raul Grijalva, the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a hot letter this week to the Secretary of the Interior. It was about the removal of the first line of a USGS press release last week. The press release was about a newly published paper showing a dramatic increase in coastal flooding as sea level rises, and I wrote about it last week here. Even Richard Nixon …

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25 May 2017

Sols 1707-1708: When Mars Gives You Lemons, Calibrate Your Instruments

After Curiosity’s 14.6 m drive, the GEO group decided against arm activities due to a lack of compelling targets and in deference to making the next drive longer. So GEO science activities relied on Mastcam and ChemCam. On Sol 1707, ChemCam will capture a raster of the ‘White Cap Mountain’ bedrock target (the white bedrock left of center in the bottom quarter of the above Navcam image), as well as a …

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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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15 May 2017

Sols 1698-1699: It’s Touch and Go on the Climb to Vera Rubin Ridge

The road to Vera Rubin Ridge, a feature believed to be enriched in the mineral hematite, is getting steeper, so we are stopping frequently to study the composition of the bedrock beneath our wheels.

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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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Sol 1691: Stopped Short at Green Nubble

The weekend drive stopped a little bit short of the target, but that’s ok because it put the Curiosity rover in reach of some interesting cross-bedded rocks. We decided to do a “touch and go” plan for Sol 1691, quickly analyzing the rocks in front of us and then continuing on to the original drive destination.

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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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1 May 2017

Sol 1684: Touch and Go or Just Go?

Today was a day of tradeoffs. Should Curiosity focus on driving to get to a higher priority target sooner, or conduct contact science at the current location?

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30 April 2017

Sol 1681-1683: Kicking the Tires

After a drive of almost 29 meters, we are parked at a site suitable for a busy plan full of contact science on the Murray formation. GEO focused mainly on characterizing nearby flagstone – “Duck Brook Bridge” was like the typical Murray formation that was tan in color, and “Cliffside Bridge” and “Waterfall Bridge” were more coarse-grained and gray.

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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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25 April 2017

Sol 1678: A smooth planning day

Curiosity drove another 33 meters on Sol 1677, and again is surrounded by rocky outcrops partly covered by dark sand.

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