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MSL Press Conference Notes

Ryan Anderson • December 04, 2008

Mike Griffin started the press conference, and got right down to business announcing the launch delay and indicating that the actuators as well as other technical problems are responsible.

MSL Press Conference Tomorrow

Ryan Anderson • December 04, 2008

At 12 noon EST. I know what the announcement is, but I'm not allowed to tell you! How frustrating is that?!

MSL Launch Delayed by Two Years

Ryan Anderson • December 04, 2008

As I post this, NASA is holding a press conference in which they are announcing that the Mars Science Laboratory's launch date will be slipped by two years.

Sample Return Cache on MSL Canceled!

Ryan Anderson • November 23, 2008

I just heard, via this article at Universe Today, that the sample cache on MSL has been canceled.

Solar conjunction: Holidays for Mars missions, and an Opportunity update

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2008

The period of Mars solar conjunction has just begun, which means that a host of scientists and engineers whose day jobs entail interaction with the five active Mars spacecraft are getting a five-week break from the daily grind of operations.

MSL Landing Sites Narrowed to Four

Ryan Anderson • November 20, 2008

I've known about this for a little while but it was finally made public: The list of MSL landing sites had now been trimmed to four.

High dust levels are making life tough for Spirit

Emily Lakdawalla • November 11, 2008

There was a worrying update posted on the JPL website for Spirit today: an early-season dust storm has darkened its skies enough that its solar panels produced only 89 watt-hours of power yesterday, sol 1,725. Neither rover has ever, ever seen power production levels that low, not even during last year's massive dust storm.

Opportunity and Spirit updates: Both are now driving

Emily Lakdawalla • October 31, 2008

Another day, another drive: on sols 1,693 and 1,695 the Opportunity rover conducted two more lengthy drives to the south, totaling almost 200 meters. On the other side of the planet, Spirit is FINALLY in motion again.

Opportunity is really hitting the highway

Emily Lakdawalla • October 28, 2008

Victoria crater, the site of a Mars year's worth of study, is now far over the horizon, as Opportunity has lately completed a series of very long drives. Opportunity is once again sailing the sand seas of Meridiani Planum.

Why is only half of Mars magnetized?

Emily Lakdawalla • October 24, 2008 • 4

An article in the September 26 issue of Science neatly explains why only the southern half of Mars is strongly magnetized.

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