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Curiosity sol 102 update: Eppur si muove

Emily Lakdawalla • November 19, 2012

Curiosity is a rover again at last! She was parked at the dune named Rocknest for 40 sols, from sol 60 through 99. On sol 100, she drove right on top of the dune, obliterating her five scoop marks. Then on sol 102 she took a good long, 35-meter drive so that she's now right on the edge of the "high thermal inertia unit" that attracted her to the spot the team has named Glenelg.

Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: Take a taste of Mars with Pamela Conrad, Curiosity SAM Instrument Deputy PI

Emily Lakdawalla • November 07, 2012

This week's Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour Google+ Hangout at 1600 PDT / 2300 UTC on Wednesday will feature Pamela Conrad, the deputy principal investigator for Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. Tune in to learn more about how this experiment will change our view of Mars, and to ask your questions!

Curiosity, Endeavour, and Bill Nye on Your Phone

Mat Kaplan • November 07, 2012

This week's Planetary Radio episode presents highlights of the first Curiosity press briefing about the Martian atmosphere, and then takes you to the opening day ceremony for Shuttle Endeavour. You have till Friday, November 9, at 10am Pacific to send your 10th anniversary message to the show and possibly win Bill Nye on your answering machine.

Huge self-portrait of Curiosity on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2012

Curiosity used MAHLI, the scientific camera at the end of the robotic arm, to shoot a huge color portrait of herself sitting on Mars, with Gale's central mountain in the background.

Getting up to speed with Curiosity as of sol 84, and two awesome mosaics

Emily Lakdawalla • October 31, 2012

Curiosity has already spent more than three weeks at Rocknest, working through the very slow process of commissioning the sample handling systems. While parked, she's taken a couple of amazing photo mosaics.

First science reports from Curiosity's APXS and ChemCam: Petrology on Jake Matijevic

Emily Lakdawalla • October 12, 2012

A Curiosity press briefing yesterday gave some of the first results from ChemCam and APXS on the rock "Jake Matijevic." It was a little too much petrology for most people; I do my best to explain.

Pretty panoramas: Curiosity's scenic views of distant hills

Emily Lakdawalla • October 11, 2012

The landscapes that surround Curiosity are picture-postcard beautiful.

Pretty picture: Late afternoon in Gale Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2012

Curiosity shot a lovely panoramic view of the distant rim of Gale crater in the dramatic lighting of late afternoon on sol 49. Damien Bouic has colorized it, and it is beautiful.

Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour, Wednesday: What's up with Curiosity on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • October 09, 2012

It's becoming a biweekly thing -- join me, Fraser Cain, and now Casey Dreier for an update on Curiosity and a chance for you to get your Curiosity questions answered! The Google+ Hangout is on Wednesday, October 10, at 16:00 PDT / 23:00 UTC.

Mars Program Update from MEPAG

Bruce Betts • October 05, 2012

Bruce Betts reports on the status of the current and future Mars program and on acronyms from a meeting of NASA's MEPAG (Mars Exploration Analysis Program Analysis Group).

Curiosity Update, sol 57: Digging in at Rocknest

Emily Lakdawalla • October 04, 2012

Engineers requested that Curiosity be driven to a "nice sandbox" to play in for the first soil sample, and it appears that a sand drift named Rocknest satisfies that requirement.

Curiosity catches sunspots along with Phobos and Deimos transits

Emily Lakdawalla • October 03, 2012

Curiosity has been shooting photos of the Sun as Phobos and Deimos cross its face, and -- as far as I can tell -- captured sunspots as well.

Beautiful rocks ahead at Glenelg, but first, Curiosity must dig in the sand

Emily Lakdawalla • October 01, 2012

A beautiful panoramic view of the varied rocks of Glenelg has been transmitted from Curiosity on Mars. But before going any further, it's time to run the first Martian sand through the soil sampling system.

What's Up in the Solar System in October 2012

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2012

Welcome to my monthly survey of the activities of robots across the solar system! Tomorrow is the equinox at Mars; both Curiosity and Opportunity will be spending the month actively analyzing Martian rocks. It'll be a less active month for Cassini, as Saturn passes through solar conjunction late next month.

Curiosity Update, Sol 52: Glenelg Ho!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2012

Curiosity has pulled up to the edge of Glenelg, its first destination within Gale crater.

An alien moon, photographed from the surface of an alien world

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2012

Curiosity has successfully photographed a crescent Phobos in a bright daylit Martian sky.

Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: A virtual field trip to the hills on Curiosity's horizon

Emily Lakdawalla • September 25, 2012

I'm hosting this week's Cosmoquest Science Hour, and plan to take viewers on a virtual tour of those mountains on Curiosity's horizon, and show you where Curiosity is likely to go. Join me and Fraser Cain here at 1600 PDT / 2300 UTC Wednesday.

Curiosity sol 43 update: First science stop

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2012

It's now the early hours of sol 44, and JPL held a phone briefing today with the latest news from Curiosity. She's now driven about 300 meters, and has stopped at her first science target, a rock the team has named for the late Jake Matijevic.

Pretty picture: rocks underfoot at Curiosity's landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • September 17, 2012

An amateur-processed mosaic of some intriguing-looking broken rocks along Curiosity's traverse. They were intriguing enough to photograph with the Mastcam -- but not enough to stop and check them out, as Curiosity has already rolled on.

Curiosity sol 38 update: arm tests done, on the road again, and an important question answered

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2012

Curiosity has completed Commissioning Activity Period 2 and is on the road again. I asked Daniel Limonadi to explain a couple of the photos of tests being performed on CHIMRA, and took the opportunity to ask him an amusing question that came up during a previous Google+ Hangout.

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