Ken’s Sol 1250-1251 Update: Dumping Sand Samples

11 February 2016 – The short Sol 1250 drive completed successfully, placing the rover in position for contact science on the bedrock outcrop of interest. We’re planning 2 sols today and 3 sols tomorrow to get the rover through the upcoming holiday weekend. On Sol 1251, ChemCam will observe a bright vein called “Fiskus” and the sieved sand samples will be dumped onto the bedrock. Mastcam will take stereo images of the dump piles, then MAHLI will image the dump piles and a separate brush target named “Kuiseb.” After the DRT brushes Kuiseb, the APXS will be placed on the brushed spot for an overnight integration. SAM will also measure the composition of the atmosphere overnight.

The Sol 1252 plan starts with lots of remote sensing: A multispectral Mastcam observation of Fiskus, ChemCam LIBS and Mastcam observations of bumpy features “Vingerklip” and “Buntfeldschuh” on the bedrock, ChemCam RMI mosaics of distant targets, and a Navcam search for clouds. Then the APXS will be placed on its calibration target for an overnight integration. Whew–a busy planning day!

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 1250 Update: Bumping for Contact Science

10 February 2016 – The Sol 1249 drive went well, leaving the rover in an area with many nice outcrops of bright bedrock. A large outcrop, partly visible at the left side of the image above, was chosen as the target for dumping the sand sample and examining it this weekend. So, after ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the bedrock target “Kuiseb,” the vehicle will back up, turn a bit to the left, then drive forward to get the large outcrop into the arm workspace. Lots of images of the workspace will be acquired after the drive, to allow dump and contact science targets to be selected tomorrow.

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.

Lauren’s 1245-1247 Update: Analyzing Murray Formation Bedrock

05 February 2016 – On Sol 1244, Curiosity bumped 2 meters forward to get to a nice patch of bedrock. The focus of the weekend plan is to study typical Murray formation bedrock, do some targeted remote sensing, and then drive towards the Naukluft Plateau.

The 3-sol weekend plan starts by using the DRT to clear off the dust on the target “Kudis.” Then we’ll acquire MAHLI images of this typical Murray formation bedrock. Nearby, there’s an interesting patch of nodules, so the science team decided to go for a second MAHLI target named “Tinkas.” In addition to all of the contact science on “Kudis” and “Tinkas,” MAHLI will also be used for wheel imaging and to check out the REMS UV sensor. Overnight, we’ll acquire APXS data on both targets, to compare the typical bedrock composition to the nodule-rich composition. On the second sol, Curiosity will wake up early for some atmospheric monitoring observations. Around midday, we’ll acquire Mastcam multispectral imaging of “Kudis,” followed by a ChemCam passive observation of the sky. ChemCam will also be used to assess the composition of typical bedrock and the nodule-rich rock, and Mastcam will document the local geology. On the third sol, Curiosity will drive towards the Naukluft Plateau, and acquire post-drive imaging to prepare for next week. Sounds like a busy weekend!

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.

Ken’s Sol 1249 Update: Twelve Kilometers and Counting

09 February 2016 – The rover has traversed over 12 km since landing, and another drive is planned for Sol 1249. The tactical planning team decided to forgo targeted remote science observations before the drive to allow more time for driving. The goal is to get the vehicle to a location that will allow the remaining dune sample to be dumped and examined in detail this weekend, and this will require more drive time than originally planned. With only a few science observations in the plan, it was an easy day for the team. I’m MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead again today, planning another MARDI twilight image.

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 1248 Update: Re-planning a Drive

08 February 2016 – It’s not Groundhog Day, but the drive planned for Sol 1247 will be attempted again on Sol 1248. Due to a minor sequencing error, the arm activities that were planned for the morning of Sol 1247 were precluded. Because the arm was not stowed that sol, the drive did not execute and the rover has not moved. We were not able to recover the MAHLI imaging of the REMS UV sensor that was planned for Sol 1247 because it will be in shadow by the time the Sol 1248 activites start at about 11:00. So it was an easy day for me as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead, with only a MARDI twilight image to plan. We were able to squeeze in some ChemCam and Mastcam observations of “Nil Desperandum” before the drive, in addition to the usual drive-related observations.

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.

Lauren’s Sol 1244 Update: Bump, Set… Scuff!

04 February 2016 – Today’s plan is focused on bumping towards a bedrock target to set us up for contact science in the weekend plan. As we bump forward, we’ll use the rear wheels to create one last scuff in Namib Dune, which we’ll image as we drive away.

I was the GSTL today, and we had a busy morning deciding where to drive to and how to image the scuff that we’ll create. We decided to bump just a few meters away to a target that will allow us to characterize typical Murray formation bedrock (the intended target is in the lower half of the above Navcam image). Before the drive, we planned a ChemCam passive observation of a distant crater to characterize the material that makes up the Gale crater walls. We also planned a Mastcam image of a freshly broken rock named “Askevold,” and Mastcam deck monitoring to search for the movement of fines. Then we’ll drive forward slightly, turn the wheels to undermine a ripple, image it with Mastcam, and then drive towards the contact science target. After the drive we’ll acquire imaging to prepare for contact science and targeting in the weekend plan, and we’ll also do some ChemCam calibration activities. Looking forward to being back on bedrock!

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.

Lauren’s Sol 1243 Update: Getting Ready to Leave Namib Dune

03 February 2016 – The contact science activities on Sol 1242 were successful, which completed our investigation at the Namib Dune sampling location. I love the above Navcam image, which shows just how close we were able to get MAHLI to the dump piles, followed by the really high-resolution MAHLI image! Now it’s time to leave Namib Dune and head off in search of the next drill location.

I was the GSTL today, and it was a pretty straightforward day. Due to additional CHIMRA diagnostics, there wasn’t much time for additional science. The plan includes turning and backing up to allow a DAN active measurement over the dune sampling location. In the geology theme group, we focused our attention on post-drive imaging, to prepare for the possibility of contact science or drilling in an upcoming plan. In addition to all of the great science on active dunes, it’s exciting to think about the bedrock and where we might drill next!

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.

Lauren’s Sol 1242 Update: Last Analyses of the Dump Piles

02 February 2016 – Today was the last day for science activities at Namib Dune, as we’re planning to drive away on Sol 1243. It’s fun looking at the disturbed sand in the workspace, and realizing how much we’ve done here (is it just me, or does it look like a big sandbox full of scoops, dumps and wheel scuffs?). While it might look like Curiosity has just been playing in the sand, we’ve managed to accomplish a lot of really great science here.

Today’s plan includes additional CHIMRA diagnostics, and a number of MAHLI and APXS observations of the dump piles. It’s impressive how close we’re able to get MAHLI to the sand, which should enable some really high-resolution studies of the grain properties. The plan also includes several Mastcam and ChemCam RMI observations of the ripples to look for changes. I’ll be on duty tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to driving off in search of the next drill target!

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.

Lauren’s Sol 1241 Update: Wrapping up at Namib Dune

01 February 2016 – Curiosity is still parked at Namib dune, and we are we are close to finishing the science investigation here. The team is still working to diagnose the CHIMRA anomaly, but the arm was cleared for use in today’s plan.

The science activities in today’s plan include some additional MAHLI images to supplement the previously acquired selfie, and some long-distance ChemCam RMI mosaics to study layering on Mt. Sharp and the northern crater rim. We’ll also acquire a Mastcam image to document the target “Erongo,” and use Navcam to search for dust devils and monitor the atmosphere. Then we’ll use MAHLI to document several of the scoop and dump locations. There’s also an early science block on the morning of Sol 1242, during which Mastcam and Navcam will image the ripple target “Epupa” under favorable morning illumination conditions. I’ll be on duty later this week so I’m catching up on our remaining science requirements at this location.

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 1239-1240 Update: Analyzing the Sands of Mars

29 January 2016 – Since the anomaly with CHIMRA is still being investigated, there was no science involving the arm in today’s plan. Still, there was plenty to do, and we had to be careful not to collect too much extra data because there is a backlog of data on the rover waiting to be downlinked to Earth.

On Sol 1239 we planned a bunch of observations of a target called “Gosser Schroffenstein” in the area called “Mniszechis Vlei” (I am really enjoying the names list lately) where the rover’s wheel scuff in the sand exposed a tiny scarp or cliff in the sand. This little scarp gives us a good view of the fine-scaled layering in the top few centimeters of the dune. ChemCam will take an RMI mosaic of Gosser Schroffenstein, followed by an active LIBS analysis targeting the face of the scarp. After that, the RMI mosaic will be repeated to see if the laser pulses caused any changes in the delicate sand scarp. Once ChemCam is done, Mastcam will take a 5 image stereo mosaic of the whole Mniszechis Vlei area. Mastcam also has another change detection observation of the target “Hebron” and Navcam has an atmospheric observation. Once the science is done on Sol 1239, we will do some more diagnostics on the CHIMRA. Later in the day on Sol 1239, CheMin will analyze some of the sand that was collected previously.

On Sol 1240 ChemCam has a few passive (no laser) observations of the Mastcam and ChemCam calibration targets. These are followed by a couple of long-distance RMI mosaics of Mt. Sharp. These are observations that I have been advocating for recently, so it was nice to be able to fit them in the plan today while I was on duty as the ChemCam science PUL. Mastcam will take color images to help document the long distance RMI mosaics, and will repeat the change detection observations of Hebron a couple more times.

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