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18 March 2019

Sols 2352-2353: Why are we cracking up?

Today was a fun, busy day to plan. Curiosity finally made the drive to a rock called ‘Muir of Ord,’ which has a cracked surface. The science team is particularly interested in imaging this rock up close because of the fracture patterns

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17 March 2019

Sols 2349-2351: Capturing Deimos!

Top priority for ENV and Mastcam is to record a rare solar transit by Deimos (the smaller of the two martian moons) on sol 2350. This is similar to a lunar eclipse here on Earth; however, as Deimos is very small (radius of 6 km), it will not block out the Sun but appear as a dark spot on the solar disk.

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15 March 2019

Sol 2347-2348: Ctrl+Alt+Del

Curiosity is back to work after another hiatus due to a computer reset. These sorts of resets do happen from time to time for operating spacecraft and we’re able to enjoy the benefit of two computers to operate the rover by switching to the other one when needed.

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7 March 2019

Sol 2340: And objects in the rear-view mirror may appear… interesting!

Finishing up at the ‘Midland Valley’ outcrop also included the inspection of a wide range of new images. In those images the Curiosity team discovered a block that allows a unique 3D view of the rocks in the area.

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3 March 2019

Sol 2338: Finishing up at Midland Valley

We’ll kick off our block of science activities on Sol 2238 with a Mastcam mosaic looking ahead of the Curiosity rover, where the team identified an interesting area of fractured bedrock, pictured in the Navcam image above…

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27 February 2019

Sol 2333: Back in action at Midland Valley

Curiosity returned to science planning today after a two week hiatus because of a technical issue. Our most recent science plan, described in the blog for Sols 2320-2323, included a drive towards a blocky outcrop called ‘Midland Valley.’ The drive was a success, bringing us right on top of the beautiful chunk of rock shown above – but before we could reach out and touch it, Curiosity went into safe mode.

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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.

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11 February 2019

Sols 2318-2319: Touring Glen Torridon

Similar to its namesake in Scotland, the Glen Torridon area on Mars affords us stunning vistas, but in our case, of the relatively low-lying clay bearing (from orbit) unit flanked to the north by the higher ground of the Vera Rubin Ridge and to the south, by Mount Sharp.

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10 February 2019

Sol 2315-2317: Exploring the New Terrain – One Measurement at a Time

Curiosity is driving across the clay-bearing unit, which is still a very new terrain with many details yet to be understood. The region is covered in little pebbles – and has lots of small sand patches, too, both of which we continue to investigate.

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5 February 2019

Sol 2313-2314: Cruising the Clay-bearing Unit

Curiosity is cruising through the clay-bearing unit on some compacted clast-rich soil, seen in this capture from Navcam. It’s some of the best driving terrain we’ve encountered in Gale Crater, with just some occasional sandy patches in the lee of small ridges.

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