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Curiosity update, sols 645-661: Driving, driving, driving

Emily Lakdawalla • June 16, 2014

Curiosity has been busy. The rover has traveled more than half a kilometer since my last update, making steady progress beyond the Kimberley toward Murray Buttes. There hasn't been much time for science, but they sneaked in an observation of a Mercury transit across the sun, and a neat MARDI video of the rover driving.

Tracks in the Wilderness

Bill Dunford • June 03, 2014

Pioneer trails extend all the way to Mars.

Curiosity update, sols 631-644: On the road again

Emily Lakdawalla • May 30, 2014

The last couple of weeks have seen Curiosity return to the business of making steady headway toward Murray Buttes and, beyond them, Mount Sharp. Eight of the last 14 sols have seen drives ranging in length from 30 to 104 meters, racking up a total of more than half a kilometer. They are now occasionally working a shortened planning timeline that allows them to squeeze more drive sols into Curiosity's schedule.

New orbital images of Curiosity landing site from Mars Express and HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • May 23, 2014

Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are keeping their eyes in the sky on Curiosity. There's a nice newly public color image of all of Gale Crater from HiRISE, and two new HiRISE images within the Curiosity landing site.

Dust on, dust off: Before-and-after comparisons of rover decks on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2014

Curiosity and Opportunity self-portraits show one rover accumulating dust, the other losing it. Check out these cool before-and-after comparisons.

Curiosity update, sols 610-630: Drilling work at Windjana

Emily Lakdawalla • May 15, 2014

Finally, a new drill site! For the first time in nearly a year, Curiosity has put drill bit to rock and acquired a new sample of Martian material for her analytical instruments to chew on. Scientific data collection at Windjana is now complete; Curiosity drove away last night, on sol 630.

Another Day in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • May 12, 2014

One day, five worlds.

Image processing trick: Removing interline transfer smear from Curiosity photos

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2014

Curiosity took a new self-portrait on sol 613. This post contains a tip for would-be Curiosity image processors on how to make their Curiosity mosaics better: removing the smearing effect of bright objects in MAHLI photos.

Curiosity update, sols 597-610: Picking a drill site at the Kimberley

Emily Lakdawalla • April 24, 2014

After completing the initial reconnaissance of the Kimberley outcrop two weeks ago, Curiosity is, at last, moving toward a drill site. The science team selected the location last week: a spot near the base of Mount Remarkable, into what they have been calling the "middle unit" at the Kimberley.

Pretty picture: Sunset over Gale crater

Emily Lakdawalla • April 14, 2014

Imagine yourself on a windswept landscape of rocks and red dust with mountains all around you. The temperature -- never warm on this planet -- suddenly plunges, as the small Sun sets behind the western range of mountains.

Curiosity update: Initial reconnaissance of the Kimberley, sols 585-595

Emily Lakdawalla • April 11, 2014

Curiosity has been busy performing a survey of the Kimberley, walking the length of the outcrop and taking enormous quantities of photos. The team is now ready to go in for a closer look, and maybe even to drill.

Will We Finally Rove Mawrth Vallis?

J. Brian Balta • April 10, 2014

Mawrth Vallis was axed as a landing site for Curiosity, but will we get a chance to explore it with ESA's ExoMars rover?

How Does NASA's Ban on Russian Contact Affect Curiosity?

Casey Dreier • April 04, 2014

Earlier this week, NASA announced that it was cutting off ties with Russia, except for activities relating to the ISS. This raised questions about Russian participation on NASA's science missions, particularly the Russian experiment on the Curiosity rover.

Great new image of Curiosity from HiRISE, just across Dingo Gap

Emily Lakdawalla • April 03, 2014

A Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE image taken on February 10 shows Curiosity having just made deep, dark tracks across the Dingo Gap dune.

Curiosity update, sols 570-583: Arrival at Kimberley and preparation for an arm workout

Emily Lakdawalla • March 28, 2014

Some arm faults caused delays on Curiosity's approach to Kimberley, but the rover is now parked at its north edge, examining the "striated unit" up close with arm-mounted instruments.

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2014

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

Curiosity update, sols 563-569: Kimberley ahoy!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 16, 2014

With a series of drives over the last week, Curiosity is now approaching her next science stop at Kimberley. The distinctive knobs of the Kimberley outcrop are visible in photos taken on sol 569.

Intro Astronomy Class 6: Mars (continued) and Asteroids

Bruce Betts • March 14, 2014

Continue exploring Mars and learn about asteroids in this video of class 6 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy Class 5: Venus (continued) and Mars

Bruce Betts • March 06, 2014

Continue exploring Venus and begin looking at Mars in this video of class 5 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Curiosity update, sols 549-562: Shooting past Kylie on the road to Kimberley

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2014

In a series of drives, Curiosity flew past the "striated terrain" that outcropped at Kylie, and is now negotiating her way around some rockier territory as she makes her way south toward the enticing outcrops of Kimberley.

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