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24 September 2019

Sols 2536-2537: SAM Wet Chemistry Experiment

Searching for organic molecules in rocks on Mars is no easy task. Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument is designed to analyze the chemical composition of gases, which it creates by slowly heating rock samples in an oven.


20 September 2019

Sols 2533-2535: SAM’s Starring Role!

Planning for this past week has centered on analyzing the high potassium drill sample, Glen Etive 2, using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument.


23 August 2019

Sols 2506-2508: Until we meet again

Today was the final opportunity to actively command Curiosity before the Sun comes between us and Mars. Most of the instruments are safely stored for the solar conjunction break, but intrepid Navcam was available for some last-minute science observations.


22 August 2019

Sols 2504-2505: Packing up for our journey behind the Sun

The days leading up to a big trip can be hectic. There are preparations to be made, belongings to be packed, extra work to do in anticipation of being away from the computer. And it’s no different for a robot on the surface of Mars.


20 August 2019

Sol 2502-2503: Science to Exhaustion

Mars is about to be hidden behind the Sun, so Curiosity is rushing to get science done before communications are temporarily lost.


16 August 2019

Sol 2499-2501: More SAMple analysis

Conjunction is the few-week period when Mars goes behind the sun and we stop communicating with our spacecraft that are there. Our last planning day before conjunction will be next Friday, and thinking about that fast approaching day feels very similar to thinking about getting ready to leave for vacation.


13 August 2019

Sols 2495-2496: A slight change of plans

It’s the end of another week on Mars, and today we put together a 3 sol weekend plan for Curiosity. Given the RSM-related issues that we incurred this past week, we are still being cautious, but the diagnostic testing that ran in the last plan was successful.


12 August 2019

Sols 2492-2494: Just Another Week on Mars…

It’s the end of another week on Mars, and today we put together a 3 sol weekend plan for Curiosity. Given the RSM-related issues that we incurred this past week, we are still being cautious, but the diagnostic testing that ran in the last plan was successful.


8 August 2019

Sols 2489-2491: A Change in the Weather (Observations)

Over the weekend, Curiosity successfully dropped off a portion of the Glen Etive drill sample. But for some reason, the sequence was interrupted, so no images of the portion were acquired.


5 August 2019

Sol 2488: Success on the 22nd Drill Hole; Happy Landing Day-On to Year 8!

On Sunday morning the team received the message that Curiosity’s latest drill hole was successful at ‘Glen Etive.’ This is the 22nd full-depth drill hole on Mars, and we can celebrate its success on this final day of Earth-year 7 of the mission.


1 August 2019

Sol 2483: Anticipating Drill Hole Number Three (And Maybe Number Four) Within Glen Torridon

Planning today was focused on getting more compositional and textural information on top of this small ridge that we plan to attempt drilling at the weekend.


30 July 2019

Sols 2482-2483: A Drill with a View

The rover is currently located in the southern part of the ‘Visionarium,’ where we are set to start our next drill campaign, and we can’t help but take in the scenery!


25 July 2019

Sol 2477: Records measured in degrees

Curiosity is currently tilted 25° – more than ever before, during science operations. The image above shows just how much this is.


24 July 2019

Sol 2476: The Southern Escarpment Almost Within Reach

This morning Curiosity found herself parked at the base of the southern escarpment of the Visionarium. She’s at a significant tilt of 21 degrees; you can see the slope of the horizon in the attached image.


23 July 2019

Sol 2474: A Great Outcrop!

When we see outcrops like this one that show a vertical exposure of laminated rocks, we capture it in high resolution Mastcam images so that scientists can look for sedimentary structures that give us clues as to how the rock formed.


22 July 2019

Sol 2472-2473: Additional Contact Science and a Soliday at Sandside Harbour

Curiosity is still parked in front of an outcrop known as ‘Sandside Harbour’ in order to investigate differences in the lighter and darker outcrop expressions.


13 July 2019

Sol 2465-2467: Finishing up at Harlaw Rise

The Sol 2463 drive went as planned, leaving Curiosity in position to examine what appears to be a small dome in the sedimentary rocks (visible on the left side of the scene shown here).


5 July 2019

Sols 2457-2460: A busy holiday weekend!

Curiosity will continue to investigate the rocky Harlaw region of the Glen Torridon formation on this holiday weekend. Curiosity arrived at her current location on Monday and has been investigating some interesting layered bedrock material over the past few days.


3 July 2019

Sol 2455-2456: Investigating laminated rocks.

The 4th of July is coming up – and so the team worked to keep the rover busy without keeping ourselves busy! Today Earth time we planned two Mars sols, and tomorrow Earth time we will complete an over-sized weekend plan that will keep Curiosity busy while we celebrate 4th of July on Earth.


28 June 2019

Sols 2451-2453: Climbing Higher

Curiosity has been a bit down lately-in elevation. After exploring the top of Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR) last year, the rover descended into a trough south of the ridge, dropping as much as 15 meters in elevation this spring to explore part of the clay-bearing unit.