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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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12 July 2017

Sol 1754: Science flowing through our veins

Today on Mars we planned a typical ‘drive sol’ that involved a bit of pre-drive science followed by a drive and some post-drive untargeted observations.

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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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10 July 2017

Sol 1752 Blog: Sand in Curiosity’s rear-view

Following a jam-packed weekend of contact and remote science on some beautiful sand deposits, the GEO group opted for mostly remote observations in today’s plan.

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8 July 2017

Sol 1748-1752: Kicking Up Some Sand

Curiosity has intentionally scuffed a nearby sand ripple, which has gifted the team with an exceptional view of the interior of these small sand deposits.

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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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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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