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14 June 2018

Sol 2082: A New MAHLI selfie

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

Sol 2081: "Just a Bunch of Dirt"

‘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

Sol 2080: Communication Back to Normal

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

Sol 2079: Quick change artist

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

Sol 2076-2078: Dust on the horizon

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

Sol 2075: It’s a SAMple party!

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

Sol 2074: And the Crowd Went Wild

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

Sol 2073: Another CheMin Analysis

The focus of Curiosity operations continues to be on the analysis of the Duluth drill sample.


4 June 2018

Sol 2070 – 2072: A very, Very, VERY good day on Mars

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.


Sol 2072: The Great Martian Bake Off

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

Sols 2068-2069: Triple delivery for CheMin

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

Sol 2067: ‘Tis the Season to be Dusty.

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

Sol 2063-2066: Sample drop-off testing

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

Sols 2061-2062: Time to feed CheMin

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.


Sol 2059-2060: Characterizing a Successful Drill!

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

Sols 2056-2058: Poised

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

Sol 2055: Drill Site Perspectives from a Duluth Native

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

Planning Sol 2054: Duluth at our feet… er, wheels

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

Sol 2053: Bump to "Duluth"

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.’


14 May 2018

Sol 2052: We’ve Been Here Before

We expected to start planning today examining a new location within arm’s reach (or a very short drive’s reach) of a possible location for our next drilling attempt, but instead found images like this.