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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Wrapping Science on Matijevic Hill
Sols 3209 - 3235

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/03/06 01:03 CST | 1 comment

As February turned to March, Opportunity was conducting some of its final science investigations on Matijevic Hill, the MER team was making preparations for the robot field geologist's trek south for the next winter, and the Mars Exploration Rovers mission was checking off another month of exploration.

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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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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3220-3236 - March 1, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/03/01 10:27 CST

Opportunity completed the observations of the outcrop noted in the previous report and has now moved back down slope.

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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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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3215-3219 - February 6-13, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/02/13 10:27 CST

We have been seeing lots of small light-colored veins crossing through the outcrops here on Matijevic Hill, and we have tried to get a handle on the composition of these veins by doing multiple offsets with the APXS. It appears that the small veins are calcium sulfate, as best we can determine.

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Mars Exploration Rover Update: Opportunity Quietly Completes 9 Years Uncovering More Evidence of Water
Sols 3178 - 3208

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2013/02/06 03:13 CST | 1 comment

With its robot nose to the Martian grindstone, Opportunity completed its ninth year of working on Mars in January, making another significant science discovery in tiny white veins on Matijevic Hill as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission rolled on into Year 10.

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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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Dawn journal: Vesta's mountains, gorges and craters

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2013/01/31 06:09 CST | 1 comment

As Dawn continues thrusting toward Ceres, Marc takes a look back at the intrepid spacecraft's discoveries.

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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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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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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3182-3188 - January 6-11, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/01/11 10:27 CST

We finished up with examination of the big outcrop ("Copper Cliff") and moved to the next target over the weekend. With that drive Opportunity completed the loop around Matijevic Hill and is now back where it started on the big loop to examine the outcrops.

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The Chang'e 3 lunar lander and rover, expected to launch late this year

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/09 03:46 CST | 8 comments

All of the information I could track down on China's planned Chang'e 3 lunar lander and rover, including videos and a brand-new artist's concept of the rover rolling across the Moon.

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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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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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Updates on ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission: five instruments to be delivered in March

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/04 11:27 CST | 6 comments

Several news articles appeared in Indian media today about the upcoming launch of ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission. Five instruments have been selected, and their delivery is expected in March.

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Dawn Journal: faraway viewing through the mind's eye

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2013/01/02 04:38 CST

As Dawn treks onward to Ceres, its path will cross within a few degrees of the moon as seen from Earth on Jan. 21-22.

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New crew arrives at station for holidays

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/12/21 11:26 CST

The ISS is back to a six-person crew following the arrival of NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Roman Romanenko.

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