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Blog Archive

 

New Details on the 2020 Mars Rover

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/01/10 10:23 CST | 7 comments

The 2020 Rover will achieve its cost-savings by using $200 million of existing hardware left over from the Curiosity mission, said the Director of the Planetary Science division within NASA.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Zeroes In on Clay Minerals and We Look Back on 2012
Sols 3149 - 3178

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/01/08 07:16 CST | 4 comments

Despite the lull of the holidays, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission recorded one of the expedition's best months ever in December as Opportunity and her team confirmed the location of the smectite clay minerals on Matijevic Hill, effectively grabbing the scientific brass ring they came hoping to find at Endeavour Crater.

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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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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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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.

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Mars Express VMC resumes raw data posting

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/19 09:31 CST | 2 comments

ESA brought Mars Express' VMC back online in May, but hasn't been posting the images. This week, they launched a new process to release VMC images automatically to a Flickr page.

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Watch Planetary Radio LIVE on Saturday!
Saturday's webcast is all about Curiosity on Mars

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/12/15 11:10 CST | 1 comments

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.

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Planetary Society Hangout Thursday noon PT / 2000 UT: GRAIL's Demise, Curiosity Arrives, and the 2020 Rover Surprise

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/12/13 12:15 CST | 3 comments

Join us for our weekly hangout and catch up on GRAIL, Curiosity, and the future Mars rover.

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Blast from the past: Mariner 4's images of Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/10 09:15 CST | 5 comments

While hunting for photos to use in a presentation, I came across a couple of different amateur takes on the Mariner 4 photo catalog.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3151-3153 - December 5-7, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/12/07 10:27 CST

An attempt to bump left and get a small bright vein into the instrument deployment device (IDD) work volume failed to get the target in the work plane.

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Curiosity update, sol 117: Progress report from AGU

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/05 07:58 CST | 4 comments

Monday was the big Curiosity day at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. A morning press briefing was followed by an afternoon science session. I traveled to San Francisco briefly just to attend those two events. Here's my notes on the first science reports from the mission.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: present and future rovers

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/12/05 06:56 CST | 3 comments

The Planetary Society has a new weekly Google+ Hangout time slot, Thursdays at noon PT / 1800 UT. This week, Casey Dreier and I talked about the Curiosity kerfuffle and NASA's future rover plans. Here's the archived recording.

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The 2020 Rover in Context
It's not as a big of a change as you might think

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/12/05 02:24 CST | 4 comments

The 2020 rover announced today is entirely consistent with NASA's reduced commitment to planetary exploration due to its 2013 budget.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Digs In at Matijevic Hill
Sols 3119 - 3147

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2012/12/03 08:34 CST | 1 comments

While Curiosity and her team found themselves entangled in a media furor over comments, assumptions, and rumors of findings that have yet to be found, Opportunity roved on in November, finishing up the geologic survey of Matijevic Hill and setting a new mileage record along the way.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3150 - December 3, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/12/03 10:27 CST

Here at station 14 we have decided to do a detailed investigation of an outcrop that is well exposed and lies within an area where there is orbital remote-sensing evidence for clay minerals. These particular rocks are interesting in that they contain a lot of thin veins and alteration zones along joints (cracks) in the outcrops.

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/30 12:31 CST | 25 comments

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.

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One Year Ago

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/11/26 04:44 CST

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

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/26 03:11 CST | 1 comments

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.

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/21 05:30 CST | 6 comments

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.

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