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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Opportunity and Curiosity updates: Rolling and drilling and a little wear on the wheels

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/20 11:27 CDT | 3 comments

For most of April, while Mars scuttled behind the Sun as seen from Earth, both Mars rovers were pretty inactive. Now that conjunction has ended, both are doing what rovers should be doing: roving and exploring. As of sol 3312 Opportunity had moved more than 300 meters southward toward Solander Point, while on her sol 279 Curiosity drilled at a second site, Cumberland.

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Curiosity on Mars - Design, Planning, and the First Mars Year of Operations

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/04/26 04:14 CDT | 16 comments

Last month, I formally entered a new phase of my career: I signed my first book contract. I'll be writing a book about the Curiosity mission through its prime mission, for Springer-Praxis.

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Tides of light and ice: Water and rock made from snowmelt on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/04/17 01:29 CDT | 4 comments

A recently published paper proposes that much of the sedimentary rock on Mars formed during rare, brief periods of very slight wetness under melting snow.

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One Day in the Solar System

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/04/08 09:12 CDT | 4 comments

Dispatches from five different worlds--all sent by robotic spacecraft on the same day.

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More Evidence for a Habitable Mars from EGU 2013

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/04/08 06:36 CDT | 3 comments

NASA's Curiosity rover has acquired further evidence that Mars's atmosphere was once dense enough to support liquid water on the surface.

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Curiosity update, sol 227: Some sharpshooting and a dusty deck

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/29 10:50 CDT | 4 comments

Curiosity is back to science operations, though the activities are limited in scope by the fact that conjunction is fast approaching. Here's a couple of neat images from sol 227.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Reports from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/28 02:00 CDT | 5 comments

On Thursday at noon PDT / 1900 UTC I'll report on some of my favorite findings from LPSC, and answer your questions about the latest planetary science.

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LPSC 2013: Sedimentary stratigraphy with Curiosity and Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/20 04:19 CDT | 4 comments

A mind-boggling quantity of information is being presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. In my first report from the meeting, I try to make sense of the Curiosity and Opportunity sessions.

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Yes, it was once a Martian lake: Curiosity has been sent to the right place

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/12 05:36 CDT | 7 comments

The news from the Curiosity mission today is this: Curiosity has found, at the site called John Klein, a rock that contains evidence for a past environment that would have been suitable for Earth-like microorganisms.

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Browse Curiosity's data in the Analyst's notebook

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/05 01:29 CST

Last week the Curiosity mission made its first data delivery to the Planetary Data System. The bad news: none of the science camera image data is there yet. The good news: there are lots and lots of other goodies to explore.

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Very brief Curiosity update, sol 205: Memory anomaly and a swap to the "B-side"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/04 06:48 CST | 2 comments

Over the last few days the mission has been working its way through its first major (not life-threatening, just really inconvenient) anomaly: a memory problem in its main computer.

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Webcast Tonight! Planetary Scientist and Society President Jim Bell
Watch It Live or Later On Demand

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/20 07:59 CST

Professor Bell's topic is "Exploring Mars, the Moon, Asteroids, and Comets with Rovers and Landers," and there is no one better to talk about this subject.

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Curiosity update, sol 193: drilled stuff is in the scoop, ready for analysis

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/20 06:36 CST

There was a press briefing today to announce that Curiosity has completed her last major first-time activity: powder drilled from inside a rock at John Klein successfully made its way into the CHIMRA sample handling mechanism in the turret. Sol 193, then, marks the day that Curiosity is finally ready to start the science mission.

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An evening that brought me very close to Curiosity

Posted by Damia Bouic on 2013/02/15 09:00 CST | 3 comments

Damien Bouic received some well-deserved recognition from the Chemcam team for his great Curiosity image processing work.

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JPL's Mohawk Guy Invited to Attend the State of the Union Address, Despite Cuts to Planetary Exploration

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/02/12 01:53 CST | 1 comment

Bobak "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi of JPL will join First Lady Michelle Obama as a guest at today's State of the Union address.

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A new rover self-portrait and a new color image of Curiosity from orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/04 05:40 CST | 7 comments

Curiosity is inching her way through her first use of the drill on a Martian rock. She paused in the proceedings to capture a second Martian "selfie."

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Curiosity update, sol 171: Placing the drill

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/29 11:11 CST | 1 comment

They're getting closer and closer to drilling. Curiosity now seems to be positioned in the spot where they plan to be when they execute that long-awaited first drill.

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"Sand" means something different to me than it does to you, probably

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/24 01:28 CST | 2 comments

I had one of those "A-ha" moments last week where I suddenly realized that I had run afoul of a common problem in science communication: when the words I'm using mean something different to me than they do to almost everyone I'm talking to. The confusing word of the week: "sand."

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Planetary Society Hangout: Jan 17th, 2013 - Drilling on Mars with Joel Hurowitz
Thursday, Jan 17th, at noon PST/2000 UT

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/01/17 02:00 CST | 3 comments

Join Emily Lakdawalla and Joel Hurowitz of the MSL Curiosity sample acquisition team to talk about the upcoming "first drill" by the martian rover.

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Pretty picture: new HiRISE view of Curiosity, sol 145

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/16 04:58 CST | 2 comments

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a new view of Curiosity on Mars on January 2 (sol 145). Curiosity was in the same location as the one from which it shot the sol 137 panorama I posted earlier. You can see the rover's tracks leading all the way back to the landing site!

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