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.
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."
As Dawn continues thrusting toward Ceres, Marc takes a look back at the intrepid spacecraft's discoveries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The twin GRAIL spacecraft are nearly out of fuel, and are being directed to a controlled impact near the north pole on the near side of the Moon on December 17. Before the end, though, they did some cool things, including flying within 2000 meters of mountaintops, and catching video of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in flight.
Join us for our weekly hangout and catch up on GRAIL, Curiosity, and the future Mars rover.
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.
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.