27 August 2015

Sols 1087-1088: Bright features

Sols 1087-1088:  Bright features

The complex, nearly 39-meter Sol 1085 drive completed successfully, leaving the rover in another target-rich area.  Again, I helped pick targets for ChemCam observations–our favorites were on the brighter parts of the outcrop just south of the rover. The targets for ChemCam and Mastcam observations were named “Fitzpatrick,” “Keith,” and “Fred and George Creek.”  Mastcam will also acquire 2 mosaics before the rover drives away on Sol 1087.  Planning is …

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24 August 2015

Sols 1085-1086: Rough road ahead

Sols 1085-1086:  Rough road ahead

MSL had a good weekend, and returned lots of data including nice MAHLI images of Ravalli. The nearly 22-meter Sol 1083 drive completed as planned, and placed the rover near some nice rock outcrops.  I helped the planning team select targets for ChemCam observations; we settled on two that were named “Tinder Box” and “Gordon.”  Mastcam will acquire mosaics of these targets as well as “Centennial Range” and “Willow Ridge.”  …

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22 August 2015

Sols 1082-1084: Nice view

Sols 1082-1084:  Nice view

I’m having another very busy day as SOWG Chair, as we are planning lots of activities to keep the rover busy this weekend.  The vehicle is on a local high spot that gives us a spectacular view of the terrain ahead.  But there aren’t many targets in front of the rover that are suitable for contact science, so we selected only one (called “Ravalli”) to investigate using MAHLI and APXS.  …

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20 August 2015

Sols 1080-1081: Official New Selfie!

Sols 1080-1081: Official New Selfie!

We had another successful drive on 1079, going about 29 meters this time. The plan for sols 1080-1081 is pretty similar to the previous plan: remote sensing and a drive on the first day, and untargeted science on the second day. On sol 1080, ChemCam has observations of the targets “Red Lodge,” “Mowry,”  and “Rosebud,” with accompanying Mastcam images. Mastcam will also take a 19-frame stereo mosaic of a cliff …

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17 August 2015

Sols 1078-1079: Back to restricted planning

Sols 1078-1079:  Back to restricted planning

I had an easy planning day as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, because another drive is planned for Sol 1078 with only the usual post-drive MAHLI (stowed) and MARDI (twilight) imaging.  Planning is restricted again (Mars and Earth time are out of sync), so we are planning two sols.  Before driving away from the current location, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe rock targets dubbed “Huson” and “Ignatius” and Mastcam will image …

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14 August 2015

Sols 1075-1077: Time for SAM!

Sols 1075-1077: Time for SAM!

We had another successful drive on sol 1074, putting us in a good position for the weekend! The main activity for the weekend is using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to analyze some of the recent drill sample that we collected. SAM activities will take up all of sol 1075. On sol 1076, we will use MAHLI to check on the health of our wheels, and SAM will …

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13 August 2015

Sol 1074: Crazy Mountain

Sol 1074: Crazy Mountain

The 47 meter drive on sol 1073 went exactly as expected, putting us in a good position for the sol 1074 plan. It’s a pretty simple plan today, with time for a single ChemCam observation of a target called “Crazy Mountain”. I got to pick the name for this target (one of my favorite parts of being involved in operations), and it seemed fitting since the target is on a …

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12 August 2015

1073: Drive-Thru Geology

1073: Drive-Thru Geology

  The drive on sol 1072 was successful, with a total distance travelled of about 35 meters. For sol 1073, Mastcam will be very busy taking pictures to document the geology in our new location. We are planning a 31×1 mosaic of the outcrop in Marias Pass, plus a 13×3 mosaic of “Mt. Shields” (not to be confused with Mt. Sharp!) and a 10×3 stereo mosaic of “Gunton”. Navcam also …

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11 August 2015

Sols 1071-1072: What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

Sols 1071-1072: What we've got here is a failure to communicate

Unfortunately over the weekend there was an outage at the Deep Space Network, which prevented the plan for the weekend from being sent to Curiosity. So, instead of a busy weekend, Curiosity was in “runout” mode, making routine environmental monitoring measurements and waiting patiently for more instructions. The sol 1071 and 1072 plans are focused primarily on recovering the observations that were lost in the weekend plan, before we drive …

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9 August 2015

Sols 1068-1070: Back at Missoula

Sols 1068-1070:  Back at Missoula

Curiosity had a successful drive of 19 meters on Sol 1067, and we are currently back at Missoula for more targeted science.  The goal is to perform a detailed study of the Stimson-Pahrump contact, and to determine the relative timing of some of the veins that we’ve observed here. The three-sol plan is a busy one, with a lot of ChemCam analyses.  On Sol 1068 Curiosity will acquire ChemCam LIBS …

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