Join Donate

Blog Archive

 

More than you probably wanted to know about Curiosity's SAM instrument

Emily Lakdawalla • November 30, 2012

With all the hoopla surrounding the unknown results of the first analysis of a soil sample by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, I thought an explainer would be useful. What is SAM, what is it designed to measure, and what is the nature of its results? Here you go.

One Year Ago

Casey Dreier • November 26, 2012

MSL Curiosity left the Earth one year ago today. This is my experience of the launch.

Pretty Picture: Curiosity on the edge of a geologist's paradise

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2012

On Saturday, while parked for the Thanksgiving holiday at the edge of Glenelg, Curiosity took a lovely panorama pointed to the east and into Glenelg.

Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: Curiosity update with Emily and Fraser

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2012

This week's Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour Google+ Hangout at 1600 PST / midnight UTC on Wednesday will feature me and Fraser Cain talking about what Curiosity's been up to, and answering your questions.

Nifty animation: Dust in the air for Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2012

An animation of Curiosity photos shows changes in the weather.

Planetary Radio Live--Celebrating Curiosity

Mat Kaplan • November 20, 2012

Bill Nye and Planetary Society colleagues welcome mission leaders Richard Cook and John Grotzinger to a live discussion about the Mars Science Laboratory Rover.

Curiosity news that's not news (or maybe it is), and some thoughts on art and science

Emily Lakdawalla • November 20, 2012

This morning while driving to work I heard a terrific story about Curiosity on National Public Radio from Joe Palca, NPR's science correspondent. It was a great story despite the fact that it contained virtually no news. The nugget of non-news is that SAM's analysis of Mars soil has yielded some unspecified, exciting, but not-yet-confirmed result. But that's not really what Palca's story is about.

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.

Items 161 - 180 of 346  Previous12345678910Next
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Mars
Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process. Funding is crucial.

Donate

You are here: