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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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Curiosity update, sol 157: Glenelg isn't just a test site anymore; it's a scientific "candy store"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/15 05:30 CST | 5 comments

The Curiosity mission held a press briefing this morning for the first time since the American Geophysical Union meeting, and it was jam-packed with science. The biggest piece of news is this: it was worth it, scientifically, to go to Glenelg first, before heading to the mountain.

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Curiosity's Scoop Campaign, a Summary

Posted by Stephen Kuhn on 2013/01/08 09:30 CST | 4 comments

Stephen Kuhn is the CHIMRA and the scoop systems lead on the Curiosity rover. He explains what the team was doing at Rocknest, and why it took so long!

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Looking ahead to spacecraft activities in 2013

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/04 01:09 CST | 3 comments

2013 is going to be a busy year in space exploration. Two missions launch to the Moon (LADEE and Chang'E 3), and another two to Mars (MAVEN and India's mission). Curiosity should drive to the Mountain, and Opportunity to the next site on Endeavour's rim. Cassini will be seeing rings and Titan. Others should continue routine operations, except maybe MESSENGER, whose fate after March is not yet decided.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout, Thu Jan 3 1200PT/2000UT: Jim Bell

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/02 12:32 CST | 3 comments

Join Emily Lakdawalla and Casey Dreier for a chat with Jim Bell, a scientist who wears many hats. He's the team lead for the Pancam color cameras on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers; he's a member of the Curiosity science team; and he's the esteemed President of the Planetary Society's Board of Directors. We'll talk about the great science being done by both Curiosity and Opportunity, and about what's in store for the future.

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Who is the photographer behind Mars rover photos? Answer from Mark Lemmon

Posted by Mark Lemmon on 2012/12/21 11:10 CST | 2 comments

A Mars imaging scientist answers the question: who is the "photographer" behind images returned from Mars?

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