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30 October 2019

A playlist of spooky sites and sounds

Dr. Frankenstein aside, science doesn’t intend to be spooky. Sometimes it just comes out that way. Scientific endeavors have revealed some eerie places and a symphony of scary sounds from all over the planet — everything from bellowing sand dunes and whistling lightning, to groaning ice shelves of Antarctica. We got them here in our 2019 Halloween playlist. 


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!


29 July 2019

Sol 2481: On the Lookout for a Drill Site

After a successful ascent to the top of the southern outcrop in the ‘Visionarium,’ we are now searching for our next drill site. There were no bedrock exposures available for contact science activities in our immediate workspace, so our first order of business today was to identify a drill site area that we will drive to in today’s plan.


26 June 2019

Sol 2449: Keep on rollin’ through the rubble to "Harlaw"

Curiosity is continuing our exploration of Glen Torridon (the clay-bearing unit) and the varied lithologies exposed in this area of Gale crater, including more rubbly bedrock that is mixed with sand, and more coherent bedrock exposed both in the ground and capping prominent ridges.


24 May 2019

Sols 2416-2418: Drill No Go – time for Plan B!

At the start of today’s planning, the Geology theme group (GEO) had a major decision to make, whether to drill here at ‘Broad Cairn’ or not. Unfortunately, APXS data indicated that this rock lies just outside of our desired compositional parameters, with lower potassium (K) than we would have liked.


20 May 2019

Sol 2410-2412: Grains, up close!

Curiosity is continuing the investigations at ‘Rigg.’ The image in this update shows a close up taken by the MAHLI Hand Lens imager to allow the detailed investigation of the materials that make up the field of ripples.


15 May 2019

Sol 2408: Touch-and-Go!

Now that we’re back on the road following our drill campaign at Kilmarie, Curiosity is planning a quick ‘touch-and-go’ activity today to characterize the local bedrock.


5 May 2019

Sols 2397-2399: Go SAM, Go!

It was a busy weekend for the Curiosity rover.


15 April 2019

Sol 2380: Lucky Number 3

Yesterday’s discussions with the Curiosity rover science team focused on determining which target in the vicinity of ‘Aberlady’ will become the focus of the next drill campaign:


25 March 2019

Sols 2359-2360: Hopping from outcrop to outcrop

At the start of Sol 2359, Curiosity found herself parked in front of some layered bedrock outcrops (see above image), a rarity in the rubbly landscapes that we’ve explored so far in the clay-bearing unit. We were constrained by power in today’s plan, but managed to make use of every available minute for science.


13 February 2019

Sols 2320-2323: Onwards to Midland Valley

Today was a very busy planning day for the Curiosity operations team. We planned a 3-sol plan, with contact science, imaging, environmental monitoring and a drive.


22 January 2019

Sol 2299: Melrose Place

Curiosity is continuing the first phase of its journey to the ‘clay-bearing unit,’ the low elevation portion in the middle distance of this Navcam image with a series of ‘touch-and-go’ driving sols.


30 July 2018

Study reveals how sand dunes alter seismic waves

A new study finds that sand dunes act like seismic echo chambers and suggests new ways to filter out the noise they create in seismic surveys.


10 July 2018

Scientists discover “ghost dunes” on Mars

Scientists have discovered hundreds of crescent-shaped pits on Mars where sand dunes stood billions of years ago. The curves of these ancient dune impressions record the direction of prevailing winds on the Red Planet, providing potential clues to Mars’s past climate, and may hold evidence of ancient life.


14 February 2018

Sol 1965: Torrid(on) pace

For the last several months, the science, engineering and operations teams have only met three days a week to plan activities for Curiosity in order to give the engineers more time to focus on bringing the drill back online. This week, we returned to planning five days a week as we continue to traverse east across the ‘Vera Rubin Ridge’…


13 February 2018

Sol 1964: A Personal Touch

Like yesterday, today’s plan for Curiosity is a bit on the thin side, as the rover’s power allotment will be primarily dedicated to activities associated with the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and its preparation for a planned power-hungry experiment in tomorrow’s plan.


7 January 2018

Sols 1927-1928: Layers of fun!

Today’s image is a color version of part of the workspace image from the Sol 1925-1926 blog, which shows in greater detail the numerous layers and color variations that kept us at this spot for another round of science observations.


3 January 2018

Sols 1913-1924: Curiosity’s Working Holiday

There’s no real rest for the rover. We planned sols 1921-1924 on December 22 and 29.


18 December 2017

Sols 1909-1910: Driving "home" for the holidays

Today’s planning session kicked off with an important decision about where to drive Curiosity and how that will set us up for exciting science over the holidays.


14 December 2017

Sol 1902-1903: Swinging by the sandbox

The majority of the time on the ‘Vera Rubin Ridge,’ Curiosity focuses on the rocks that make up the ridge, measuring their chemistry and imaging their structure to try and understand the origin of this prominent feature in Gale crater.