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14 June 2018
The major dust storm that caused the solar-powered Opportunity rover, on the other side of Mars, to shut down has somewhat darkened the skies over Gale Crater, but is not expected to seriously affect Curiosity’s operations.
13 June 2018
‘You have to get rid of that video–it just shows a bunch of dirt!’ I got on the phone and calmly explained that the offending sequence was in fact the very first Mars-landing video.
12 June 2018
On Earth we have multiple means of communication-cell phone, text messages, land line, e-mail, and good old snail mail. On Mars the rover basically has three…
11 June 2018
Over the weekend, an error cropped up during a regular test of the high gain antenna actuators, leaving the antenna unavailable for uplink of today’s plan, but otherwise healthy.
10 June 2018
Today we planned a weekend’s worth of activities for Curiosity. For our weekend plan, we have two main priorities: perform another analysis with CheMin on our Duluth drill sample and continue our campaign of dust storm monitoring.
9 June 2018
Today, Sol 2075, was a fairly straightforward day of planning, as most of the plan will be devoted to carrying out a methane experiment with our SAM instrument to analyze an atmospheric sample.
6 June 2018
Today we received the happy news that the SAM instrument received enough sample to conduct its ‘evolved gas’ analysis of the powdered rock from our ‘Duluth’ drill hole!
5 June 2018
The focus of Curiosity operations continues to be on the analysis of the Duluth drill sample.
4 June 2018
Every single day that the Curiosity team gets to go into work and operate a one-ton rover on the surface of Mars is a good day. But last Friday was not just your typical good day — it was a very, very, very good day.
An EGA basically involves baking the powdered rock sample in a several hundred degree oven, and then measuring the amount and composition of gases that are liberated.
31 May 2018
The environmental theme group planned two early morning Navcam cloud movies on Sol 2069 less than an hour after sunrise. The cooler early morning is now the best time to see clouds, as we move well past the ‘cloudy’ season and into the warmer half of the year.
30 May 2018
We’ve just moved past southern spring equinox, which means we’re now in the half of the Mars year when global dust storms are observed to begin.
25 May 2018
ChemCam will also be busy this weekend, measuring the chemistry of a bumpy bedrock target named ‘Brule Mountain’ and layered bedrock targets ‘Devil Track’ and ‘Devilfish Tower’ on Sol 2063.
22 May 2018
After successfully drilling the ‘Duluth’ target on Sol 2057 (as seen in the above Mastcam image), the science team is eager to find out what it’s made of.
This past weekend, Curiosity successfully drilled into the ‘Duluth’ rock target, generating a beautiful pile of drill tailings! This is a very exciting time for us on the rover team, who have been waiting for quite a while to successfully drill into a target and to ingest samples into the rover’s analytical instruments.
21 May 2018
This weekend, Curiosity will attempt to sink the drill into the complexly-layered ‘Duluth’ block. Before that, she will gather more data from the ‘Blunts Point’ member rocks in front of and around us.
19 May 2018
I was excited to learn earlier this week that my native city was chosen as the name of the latest drill site on Mars!
16 May 2018
Today we received only 1.6 MB (Megabytes) of data at the start of our planning day. This was just enough to tell us the drive executed successfully and the rover was healthy, but not enough to include any new images from our current spot.
15 May 2018
A successful drive on Sol 2052 brought Curiosity within bumping distance of what will likely be our next intended drill target. The science team named this target ‘Duluth.’