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15 September 2017
The focus of science planning this morning was an experiment to acquire data on a bedrock target before and after brushing.
13 September 2017
Planning for Curiosity this morning was a bit like reading a great mystery novel. There were several twists and turns along the way…
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.
27 August 2017
Curiosity completed a 30.3 meter drive yestersol, climbing another 2.4 meters in elevation. The rover is still in a soil-dominated region near the base of ‘Vera Rubin Ridge.’
22 August 2017
Curiosity is now tantalizingly close to climbing up Vera Rubin Ridge. For the past several weeks we have been skirting around the ridge, documenting sedimentary structures and bedrock composition along the way as we work toward our intended ascent route.
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
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.
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.
15 August 2017
Curiosity Rover drove over 32 meters last weekend, to a sandy area with a few bedrock blocks, but ChemCam suffered an anomaly and was marked sick after the acquisition of the first RMI mosaic of Vera Rubin Ridge.
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.
3 August 2017
The 2017 solar eclipse presents many opportunities for everyone to get involved in doing science before/during/after the eclipse. NASA has collected a number of citizen science programs at every level from the most basic observations to publishable research opportunities in partnership with NASA and university scientists.
26 July 2017
The James Webb telescope is designed to detect light in the infrared portion of the spectrum, and its instruments will only work at a temp. of just a few degrees above absolute zero! But how do you test them?? This is how! The room will keep getting colder and colder. NASA has a live webcam of the room online with a look at the indoor and outdoor temperatures at the …
19 July 2017
Gavin Schmidt at NASA GISS posted the graphic below on Twitter Tuesday night and it quickly spread like wildfire. We are used to seeing the graphs with hockey stick endings of the global temperature but showing it in a sequence of normal distributions (bell curves) by month, and ending it with the data of the last two years noted, gives one a new and rather stark perspective. You can see an animation …
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 …