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Curiosity sol 102 update: Eppur si muove

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/19 06:36 CST | 2 comments

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Reconnaissance of Matijevic Hill
Sols 3089 - 3118

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2012/11/06 06:01 CST | 1 comments

After spending much of October driving around and taking pictures on Matijevic Hill, Opportunity hunkered down for Halloween and spent the holiday quietly, staying out of mischief's way and the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission roved another month closer to its ninth anniversary of working on the surface of the Red Planet.

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Soliciting input for an idea on slides

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/11/05 07:09 CST | 19 comments

I'm directing a question at professional and amateur space scientists and educators: could I make slide sets that would help you educate the public about what's going on in planetary exploration?

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Getting up to speed with Curiosity as of sol 84, and two awesome mosaics

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/31 07:39 CDT | 6 comments

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.

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Dawn Journal: Scary-Good Ion Propulsion

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2012/10/31 12:34 CDT

Dawn continues to raise its orbit en route to its 2015 date with Ceres. Also, Marc prepares his high-energy Halloween costume.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3111- October 23, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/10/23 11:27 CDT

We on the MER Opportunity science team are currently doing an “outcrop walk” with Opportunity on the slopes of Cape York, a small residual part of the rim on the 20+ km diameter Endeavour Crater, Mars.

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Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour, Wednesday: What's up with Curiosity on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/09 03:45 CDT | 2 comments

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.

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Mangalyaan update: Testing of main engine underway

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/09 11:25 CDT | 1 comments

A report in the Times of India states that India's Mars mission's main engine is now being tested.

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SpaceX's first paid cargo run off to bumpy start

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/10/08 11:03 CDT | 7 comments

SpaceX successfully sent their first paid Dragon capsule towards the International Space Station Sunday night. But the bigger story happened on the way to orbit.

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Mars Program Update from MEPAG

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/10/05 06:30 CDT | 1 comments

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).

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Deep Impact targets possible 2020 asteroid flyby

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/05 12:28 CDT | 3 comments

Yesterday, Deep Impact performed a trajectory correction maneuver, firing its thrusters to line up for a flyby seven years from now. Here's a preview of that encounter.

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Curiosity Update, sol 57: Digging in at Rocknest

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/04 03:27 CDT | 2 comments

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finds Thrill of Newberries on Matijevic Hill
Sols 3060 - 3088

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2012/10/03 01:58 CDT | 1 comments

On reconnaissance of Matijevic Hill, Opportunity has driven right into another Martian mystery, compete with new kinds of “berries," tiny white veins running through two distinctive outcrops of rock, and orbital data indicating that somewhere here clay minerals are hiding, all of which has put the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission back in the science spotlight and made for another September to remember at Meridiani Planum.

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Beautiful rocks ahead at Glenelg, but first, Curiosity must dig in the sand

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/01 05:31 CDT | 4 comments

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.

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What's Up in the Solar System in October 2012

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/28 05:27 CDT | 2 comments

Welcome to my monthly survey of the activities of robots across the solar system! Tomorrow is the equinox at Mars; both Curiosity and Opportunity will be spending the month actively analyzing Martian rocks. It'll be a less active month for Cassini, as Saturn passes through solar conjunction late next month.

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Curiosity Update, Sol 52: Glenelg Ho!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/28 02:28 CDT

Curiosity has pulled up to the edge of Glenelg, its first destination within Gale crater.

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Dawn Journal: Five years since launch

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2012/09/27 03:37 CDT | 2 comments

On the fifth anniversary of its launch, Dawn is on the way to Ceres.

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Mangalyaan, India's 2013 Mars mission, is now under construction

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/27 12:33 CDT | 10 comments

In August, India's prime minister announced the intent to build and launch a Mars orbiter in time for the November 2013 launch window, an insanely fast schedule. The structure of the spacecraft has now been delivered.

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Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: A virtual field trip to the hills on Curiosity's horizon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/25 04:50 CDT | 2 comments

I'm hosting this week's Cosmoquest Science Hour, and plan to take viewers on a virtual tour of those mountains on Curiosity's horizon, and show you where Curiosity is likely to go. Join me and Fraser Cain here at 1600 PDT / 2300 UTC Wednesday.

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Curiosity sol 43 update: First science stop

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/19 05:24 CDT | 8 comments

It's now the early hours of sol 44, and JPL held a phone briefing today with the latest news from Curiosity. She's now driven about 300 meters, and has stopped at her first science target, a rock the team has named for the late Jake Matijevic.

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