Ryan’s Sol 1386 Update: Studying Trekkopje, checking the wheels

29 June 2016 – Our drive in the Sol 1385 plan took us 66 meters, continuing our path south between the “Baynes Mountains” and “Helgas Dune”. The plan for Sol 1386 starts off with APXS and MAHLI observations of the target “Trekkopje”, followed by a short science block. Mastcam will start off the block with some atmospheric measurements, then ChemCam will join in the fun and analyze Trekkopje too. Mastcam will document that observation and the AEGIS observation from Sol 1385, followed by a couple of small mosaics studying the rim of a nearby crater. Instead of driving, we will use MAHLI to do a check-up on our wheels in today’s plan.

Ryan Anderson is a planetary scientist and developer at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ryan’s Sol 1385 Update: Drive then drive some more

28 June 2016 – Not a lot to report today: these one-sol drive plans are pretty simple! (Well, as simple as driving a giant robot on another planet can be…) Yesterday’s drive took us a little over 60m and we’re planning another drive in the sol 1385 plan. Before the drive, we have a short science block with a ChemCam observation of the target “Epembe” and a Mastcam mosaic of “Baynes Mountain” to fill a gap in the 360 mosaic from yesterday. After that, we’ll drive for about 70 meters and collect post-drive imaging. We’ll also use AEGIS to do a ChemCam observation after the drive and use MAHLI to look at the ground under our wheels.

Ryan Anderson is a planetary scientist and developer at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ryan’s Sol 1384 Update: Baynes Mountain

27 June 2016 – Our weekend soliday plan was successful, putting us about halfway to our next likely drilling location. We are now in “unrestricted” planning again, meaning we will be getting data down overnight and can plan every day this week.

The Sol 1384 plan starts with ChemCam of the target “Berseba”. Mastcam will also image Berseba, as well as the ChemCam AEGIS target from the weekend. Mastcam then has a mosaic of the nearby “Baynes Mountain” to capture the details of the stratigraphy there, as well as some atmospheric observations. After that, the plan is to drive for about 70 meters and collect our standard post-drive images. Since the drive is expected to put us in a location with a good view of the surrounding geology, we will also do a 360 degree Mastcam mosaic at the end of the sol.

Ryan Anderson is a planetary scientist and developer at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ryan’s Sol 1382-1383 Update: Phobos Transit and Soliday

27 June 2016 – Contact science in the Sol 1380-1381 plan went well, so we’re back to driving in the weekend plan!

Sol 1382 will start with a Mastcam video of Phobos crossing in front of the sun, plus a multispectral observation of the brushed target “Koes”. ChemCam will then analyze the targets “Koes,” “Kongola,” and “Rundu” and Mastcam will document those observations. After that, we will drop off some of the “Oudam” sample to SAM for analysis.

On Sol 1383 the rover will drive and then collect the usual post-drive images, including an 8×1 mosaic along the side of the rover to study changing textures as we drive. We’ll also take some extra Navcam images of a crater in the distance. Later in the day, Mastcam has a couple of atmospheric observations and ChemCam has an auto-targeted observation.

The weekend plan is only two sols since Sunday is a “soliday” allowing Earth and Mars schedules to get back in sync. But the plan does include an early morning science block for Sol 1384 to collect some atmospheric observations with Navcam and Mastcam.

Ryan Anderson is a planetary scientist and developer at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Lauren’s Sol 1380-1381 Update: Contact Science at “Koes”

22 June 2016 – The drive on Sol 1378 went well, and Curiosity drove ~44 m to the south, bringing our total drive distance to more than 13.2 km. We’re currently making our way through a gap in the Bagnold dunes (part of a dune is visible in the upper left of the drive direction Navcam frame, above).

Today’s two-sol plan includes targeted remote sensing, and contact science at a target named “Koes.” We’ve been searching for a good place to do contact science on the Murray formation around here, and there won’t be enough power or time to fit contact science in the weekend plan, so it’s great to pick it up here. The plan starts with ChemCam and Mastcam observations of “Koes” and “Onawa” to characterize the Murray formation. Then we’ll use the DRT to brush off a fresh surface at “Koes,” followed by MAHLI imaging. We’ll also use MAHLI to image the rover wheels, as part of our ongoing monitoring. Then we’ll place APXS for an overnight integration on “Koes.” We’ll also carry out a SAM preconditioning activity, which heats up a sample cup in preparation for solid sample analysis. Curiosity will wake up early the next morning to acquire a Mastcam mosaic of “Baynes Mountain” to document the contact between the Murray and Stimson formations. On Sol 1381, we’ll acquire another ChemCam observation of the Murray formation at “Khoabendus,” and we’ll use Mastcam to characterize veins at the target “Helgas.” Then Navcam will be used to monitor the atmosphere and search for dust devils.

Lauren Edgar is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the MSL science team.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ryan’s Sol 1378-1379 Update: Making up for lost distance

21 June 2016 – Over the weekend, the rover stopped after about 17 meters of the planned 65 meter drive. The rover is fine, the drive just tripped one of the (very conservative) limits on how the rover’s suspension was expected to behave, causing Curiosity to stop and check in with Earth. Since there is nothing jumping out at us as a contact science target where we stopped, in today’s plan we will try to make up for some of the lost distance from the weekend plan.

In the Sol 1378 plan, ChemCam has observations of some bedrock at the target “Tombua” and a rock named “Ai Ais”. Mastcam then will image the two ChemCam targets, as well as the Sol 1376 AEGIS target. Mastcam will also image some veins at a location called “Helgas”. After that, we will drive and collect some typical post-drive imaging.

On Sol 1379, we won’t have data down from Sol 1378 yet, so it is an untargeted plan. In the morning, ChemCam, NavCam, and Mastcam have some atmospheric observations. Then in the afternoon, ChemCam has some calibration observations, followed by a few more Mastcam atmospheric observations.

Ryan Anderson is a planetary scientist and developer at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ken’s Sol 1375-1377 Update: Another busy weekend

17 June 2016 – The Sol 1373 drive completed successfully, moving the rover over 31 meters toward the south. There’s lots of bedrock exposed around the vehicle, but no flat patches large enough to brush in the arm workspace. So MAHLI will take images of an unbrushed target called “Andara” before the APXS is placed on it for an overnight integration. Before these arm activities on Sol 1375, ChemCam and the Right Mastcam will observe Andara and other bedrock targets “Okoloti,” “Kalkfeld,” and “Khorixas.” Mastcam will then acquire a stereo mosaic of a nice outcrop toward the southwest dubbed “Baynes Mountains” and a left-eye mosaic of another outcrop northwest of the rover. The CheMin team requested another portion of the Oudam drill sample, which will be delivered late that afternoon. After dark, MAHLI will image the CheMin inlet using its LEDs for illumination.

Late in the morning of Sol 1376, APXS will integrate again on Andara to compare the quality of data acquired at different temperatures. Then the arm will be stowed for a long (about 55 meters) drive, which will be followed by the usual post-drive imaging and another ChemCam AEGIS (autonomously-targeted) observation.

On Sol 1377, the Left Mastcam will acquire a mosaic of the rover deck, to serve as a baseline for comparison with future images taken after passing the sand dunes along the path ahead. Sand blown across the rover might remove some of the dust on the rover deck. Finally, CheMin will analyze the new Oudam sample portion overnight. It should be another busy weekend for MSL!

Ken Herkenhoff is a ChemCam RMI specialist. An archive of Ken’s past updates can be read at http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/news/.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ken’s Sol 1373-1374 Update: No touch, just go!

15 June 2016 – The 32-meter Sol 1371 drive completed exactly as planned, giving the rover a good view of the path toward the south. So another ~30-meter drive is planned for Sol 1373, after some remote science observations. We had the option of using the DRT and taking MAHLI images of the brush spot before the drive, but the science team decided to acquire more remote science observations rather than brushing the Stimson Formation bedrock reachable by the arm. Mastcam will image the path ahead through all spectral filters, then ChemCam and the Right Mastcam will observe Stimson bedrock targets “Sesfontein” and “Swartbooisdrif.” The Right Mastcam will image the ChemCam target that was autonomously selected by the AEGIS software on Sol 1371, and a Left Mastcam mosaic of a fracture zone west of the rover is planned. On Sol 1374, AEGIS will be used to autonomously acquire another ChemCam observation and the Left Mastcam will take a 3×2 mosaic of the same area.

Ken Herkenhoff is a ChemCam RMI specialist. An archive of Ken’s past updates can be read at http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/news/.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ken’s Sol 1359 Update: Cleaning CHIMRA

01 June 2016 – The remaining Okoruso drill sample was successfully dumped onto the ground on Sol 1358, so MSL is ready for a new drill sample. In preparation, the Sol 1359 plan includes an arm preload test on “Oudam,” the next drill target, and cleaning out CHIMRA with imaging to verify that everything is clean. Before all the arm activities, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the Okoruso dump pile and a bedrock target named “Otjosondu.” The Left Mastcam will also acquire a 5×2 mosaic of the “Fraktuur Dorp” area and extend the “Hartmann’s Valley” mosaic. Late in the afternoon, when lighting will be better, MAHLI will acquire images of bedrock target “Onguati” and a full suite of images of the dump pile. The APXS will then be placed on the dump pile for an overnight integration. The tactical team did a great job of picking targets and preparing command sequences, so it was an easy day for me as SOWG Chair.

Ken Herkenhoff is a ChemCam RMI specialist. An archive of Ken’s past updates can be read at http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/news/.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Ryan’s Sol 1358 Update: A Simple Plan

31 May 2016 – Our activities over the weekend went well, and after a couple of complicated multi-sol plans we get to do a nice simple one-sol plan today! The Sol 1358 plan starts with ChemCam observations of the targets “Otiiha”, “Otjihase”, “Otjikoto”, and “Otjimbingwe” to assess variations in the bedrock chemistry. Mastcam will document those targets, and then we will dump out our remaining Okoruso sample. APXS then has an overnight observation of the target “Oudam”.

I was on downlink for ChemCam today, so while everyone was putting together the plan for today, I was busy analyzing the tons of great data that we got down over the long weekend!

Ryan Anderson is a planetary scientist and developer at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

baptist health montgomerybuy metronidazole