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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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22 May 2015

Sol 992: Marias Pass

Sol 992: Marias Pass

By Lauren Edgar Curiosity conquered the hill on Sol 991, and we were rewarded with a beautiful view of Marias Pass.  The 22 meter drive on Sol 991 brings our total odometry to 10,556 meters. In today’s plan, Curiosity will acquire ChemCam and Mastcam observations on the targets “Elk” and “Bull” to characterize the bright bedrock and a nearby boulder.  We’ll also take several Mastcam mosaics to document the local …

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5 May 2015

Sols 976-977: Onward to Jocko Butte

Sols 976-977: Onward to Jocko Butte

by Ryan Anderson With our weekend contact science done, it’s time to hit the road again. The sol 976 plan includes some final Mastcam mosaics of the interesting outcrops that we have been studying, plus a Mastcam multispectral observation of the target “Albert” that ChemCam zapped over the weekend. After that, we will drive about 60 m, to a location west of “Jocko Butte”. After the drive we have post-drive …

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8 April 2015

Sol 950: Taking in the Scenery along Artist’s Drive

Sol 950: Taking in the Scenery along Artist’s Drive

  By Lauren Edgar Like most tourists who visit Artist’s Drive on Earth, Curiosity is busy taking lots of photos to document the valley walls of Artist’s Drive on Mars.  We are officially on the road again, and working our way through a very scenic drive.  I’m the Geology Science Theme Lead today, and today’s plan involves a pre-drive science block, a drive for hopefully ~30-40m, and some post-drive imaging …

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1 April 2015

Sols 944-945: Return to Garden City

Sols 944-945:  Return to Garden City

  by Ken Herkenhoff After receiving and analyzing the most recent “Garden City” data, the MSL team decided that more data are needed to better understand this interesting outcrop.  Therefore, after acquiring some ChemCam and Mastcam observations near “Kanosh,” the rover will drive back to Garden City on Sol 944.  The goal is to position the rover for contact science activities in a part of the outcrop that was not previously within the arm’s …

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31 March 2015

Martian Chronicles is Back!

Good news everyone: this blog is coming out of retirement! For a while now, I and two other USGS scientists on the Curiosity team, Ken Herkenhoff and Lauren Edgar, have been posting brief updates on what the Curiosity rover is up to, over at the USGS Astrogeology website. Now, through the wonders of the internet (and some behind the scenes work by the USGS and AGU webmasters) those updates will …

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30 March 2015

Sols 942-943 Cap Rock “Kanosh”

Sols 942-943 Cap Rock “Kanosh”

By Lauren Edgar Over the weekend, Curiosity drove further into Artist’s Drive to investigate a rock named “Kanosh.”  This boulder appears to represent the “capping unit,” so we’re planning to study Kanosh in more detail to understand this resistant type of rock. Today’s two sol plan consists of remote sensing and contact science to investigate this boulder.  We’ll acquire ChemCam on the targets “Piru,” “Little Devil,” and “Tierra Blanca.”  We’ll …

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3 July 2013

All Good Things…

All Good Things...

… must come to an end. And unfortunately this blog is one of them. As you no doubt have noticed, the frequency of my posts has dwindled down to almost nothing and I think the time has come to stop pretending that this blog is still active and face the fact that it has run its course. And what a course it has been! This blog started back in 2008 …

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30 April 2013

Rocketplanes, Science comics, and Curiosity

Rocketplanes, Science comics, and Curiosity

First of all, in case you missed it, we live in the future. Proof? This actual photograph from Virgin Galactic’s successful supersonic rocketplane flight:

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5 April 2013

A last hurrah of flowing water on Mars

A last hurrah of flowing water on Mars

This is not so much a review of a recent paper as a review of a significant paper. “An intense terminal epoch of widespread fluvial activity on early Mars:1. Valley network incision and associated deposits” by Alan Howard, Jeff Moore, and Ross Irwin is the first of a pair of papers published in 2005 that make the case that instead of a gradual transition from warm and wet to cold …

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