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12 September 2017
Curiosity’s approach to and ascent of the Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR) has provided us with stunning views of the Mount Sharp terrain.
10 September 2017
Curiosity is on the steepest part of Vera Rubin Ridge that it will encounter along its climb. The machine is performing superbly, having driven a 28 meter distance yestersol and having climbed 18 meters vertical elevation in four planning sols.
4 September 2017
Imagine you were asked to dribble a soccer ball, juggle and sing a show tune while making your last push up the hill. Now you know how Curiosity feels this weekend!
30 August 2017
Curiosity’s drive on Sol 1801 brought us to an excellent location for some contact and remote science in today’s 3-sol plan (setting up for a long Labor Day weekend).
29 August 2017
Curiosity drove 23.3 meters over the weekend, bringing us even closer to the area we will ascend Vera Rubin Ridge. We have reached the point in the traverse where we are no longer headed east along the ridge, but instead are turning to the south where orbital data show the ridge has slopes shallow enough for Curiosity to climb.
28 August 2017
Yesterday’s drive went perfectly, putting us in a good position for a busy weekend plan. Curiosity will start off on Sol 1797 with a long (2h 45m) science block full of a variety of remote sensing.
21 August 2017
We had a nice long pre-drive science block which we stuffed with 2 ChemCam observations to measure the chemistry of targets ‘Boiler’ and ‘Biljim’ as well as a ChemCam image mosaic of the Vera Rubin Ridge
20 August 2017
Not to be overshadowed by other goings on in the solar system, we planned a full day of activities for Curiosity on Monday.
18 August 2017
Even though Curiosity did not drive the planned 15 meters yesterday evening (she only made it about 11 meters), she moved far enough down the road to get in good position to acquire a full high-resolution mosaic of Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR) over the weekend…
As Curiosity inches closer towards ascending Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), the science team is continuing to be diligent in both characterizing the local surroundings while also looking ahead and imaging the ridge upon approach.
17 August 2017
I was the Surface Properties Scientist, or SPS, on staff today. After completing a successful drive back to the strategic route to continue up the Vera Rubin Ridge, Curiosity arrived at a workspace filled with sand and a lone rock outcrop dubbed ‘Dumplings Island’ seen in the center of the included image.
16 August 2017
At the start of operations, we discovered that the drive yestersol faulted prematurely after about only 15 m, which was roughly half the expected distance. The drive halted because one of the middle wheels experienced a large up and down motion as if going over a large rock.
12 August 2017
Curiosity sidled up to the base of the Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), whose proximity is evidenced by the 12 degree upward tilt of the rover’s parking position, for an extended suite of imaging of the ridge and its surroundings.
11 August 2017
Yesterday’s drive brought us 6 meters higher in elevation, so another touch and go for today it is! We’ll analyze the Murray target ‘Thorne’ with APXS and MAHLI, followed by a short ChemCam observation on the same target.
10 August 2017
We’re finally ready to dust off the wheels and get back to driving towards Vera Rubin Ridge. Today was a pretty smooth day of planning, as we’re still getting back into the swing of things.
6 August 2017
As Mars comes out from behind the Sun, scientists are easing back into operations planning for the Curiosity rover.
17 July 2017
July 13 marked the last chance for us to reliably command Curiosity before she, and Mars, disappear behind the Sun for about three weeks.
16 July 2017
Planetary scientists take their vacations when the planets align. In our case it is because communications with Mars are blacked out when the red planet goes behind the sun. It is called a solar conjunction. Afterwards, Mars will re-appear in our terrestrial skies early in the morning, just before sunrise. As the Earth chases the Red Planet, Mars will rise earlier until at opposition, when the Earth passes Mars a …
12 July 2017
Today on Mars we planned a typical ‘drive sol’ that involved a bit of pre-drive science followed by a drive and some post-drive untargeted observations.