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21 November 2017

Sols 1882 – 1888: Science-Filled Thanksgiving Holiday

This week we put together two extra-large helpings of science to get Curiosity through the Thanksgiving holiday.


15 November 2017

Sol 1875-1876: Sitting on the Boundary

What makes this day a bit different than other days is that Curiosity is sitting right on the boundary between two geologic units observed from orbit.


12 November 2017

Sols 1872-1875: A Fashionably Late Data Downlink

Because the alignment of a Mars sol versus an Earth day is constantly changing, we sometimes start our planning day a couple hours earlier or later than normal.


7 November 2017

Sol 1870-1871: Back in the groove

Above is a Navcam image of Curiosity’s location after a successful drive on Sol 1869. The shadows show the Robotic Arm (RA) and turret on the left, and the Remote Sensing Mast (RSM) to the lower right. I can’t help but think that Curiosity is giving us a ‘high-five’ for another stellar drive!


6 November 2017

Sols 1868-1869: Hello gorgeous

It was a good weekend on Mars. Curiosity spent the weekend exploring a beautiful outcrop of sedimentary rocks (shown in the above image) as part of our continued investigation of the middle and upper parts of Vera Rubin Ridge.


5 November 2017

Sol 1865: Back in the saddle again

Curiosity successfully got a move on from her inadvertent layover stop, which presented the science team with a new workspace, and a new view of the structures exposed in the ‘Vera Rubin Ridge.’


1 November 2017

Sol 1863: Planning to Drive Again

Curiosity will finally be back on the move. The rover made an unexpected stop of nearly two weeks in the current location due to several things ranging from failed uplinks to insufficient arm heating and a camera glitch.


30 October 2017

Sol 1861-1862: The Curse of Vera Rubin Ridge Strikes Again

We are starting to suspect that Vera Rubin Ridge might be cursed. After the challenges Curiosity faced last week, we were hoping for a successful weekend plan but alas, it was not to be.


29 October 2017

Sol 1858-1860: A Working Weekend

Despite setbacks, the Curiosity team is optimistic moving into the weekend, and has planned a really nice suite of observations.


28 October 2017

Sol 1856-1857: Take two (almost)!

After Monday’s communications hiccup (detailed here) that prevented us from uplinking our two-sol plan to Curiosity, today we’re hoping to redo most of what we had in Monday’s plan.


24 October 2017

Sol 1853-54: Space is Hard

Our exploration of space, and Gale Crater specifically, is enabled by incredible technology and amazing engineers and scientists. But, circumstances constantly remind us that space is hard.


21 October 2017

Sol 1852: Feeding SAM some sand

Curiosity drove over 20 meters on Sol 1850, to an area with lots of bedrock exposed.


18 October 2017

Sol 1850-1851: A Change of Scenery

Following Curiosity’s drive two days ago, the team found a local landscape dominated by small cobbles and pebbles with an abundance of fine soil surrounding these fragments.


17 October 2017

Sols 1848-1849: How far we’ve come

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this blog that I fully processed how far we’ve come and just how awesome Curiosity’s ‘office’ is.


16 October 2017

Sol 1843-44: Winter is Coming

The seasons on Mars are long, and even though Curiosity is near the equator, the change in weather between the seasons is noticeable and winter is coming to Gale Crater.


14 October 2017

Sol 1845-1847: Game of inches

There’s a line in the halftime scene of the movie ‘Any Given Sunday’: ‘life’s this game of inches…the margin for error is so small.’ The same is true on Mars.


13 October 2017

From Geophysics Grad Student to Chief Scientist (for a Day)

Two years ago, before I became a graduate student, I would have never thought I would be at sea on a seismic research expedition.


12 October 2017

Exploring Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards Along the Pacific Northwest Coast

Can scientists determine how likely we are to have a tsunami along different parts of the PNW Coast and how big it would be? What types of things affect whether an earthquake is likely to cause a large tsunami? (Or none at all?)


11 October 2017

The Journey to the Heart of the Ocean

Mud, mud / Glorious mud. / Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.


9 October 2017

Sols 1841-1842: Who ever said roving around Mars was easy?

When you take a step back and think about all of the things that must go right in order to perform scientific investigations on the surface of Mars, it’s hard to believe that we EVER get things accomplished!