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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Damien Bouic received some well-deserved recognition from the Chemcam team for his great Curiosity image processing work.
Bobak "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi of JPL will join First Lady Michelle Obama as a guest at today's State of the Union address.
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."
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."
Planetary Society Hangout: Jan 17th, 2013 - Drilling on Mars with Joel Hurowitz
Thursday, Jan 17th, at noon PST/2000 UT
Join Emily Lakdawalla and Joel Hurowitz of the MSL Curiosity sample acquisition team to talk about the upcoming "first drill" by the martian rover.
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!
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.
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.
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.
A Mars imaging scientist answers the question: who is the "photographer" behind images returned from Mars?
Planetary Radio Live Celebrates Curiosity/Truly Haute Cuisine!
Listen to or watch the webcast recorded Saturday, December 15th, and enjoy a neat little French animation.
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/12/20 04:06 CST
Listen to or watch the webcast recorded Saturday, December 15th with MSL Project Manager Richard Cook and Project Scientist John Grotzinger. Bonus: enjoy a neat little French animation.
Watch Planetary Radio LIVE on Saturday!
Saturday's webcast is all about Curiosity on Mars
Watch the live show at 2pm Pacific on Saturday, December 15 to see Bill Nye, Emily Lakdawalla and the leaders of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission.