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Dawn journal: Staying warm en route to Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2013/03/30 10:05 CDT | 4 comments

Marc Rayman's latest Dawn journal explains the temperature adjustments engineers make to save power and keep the spacecraft warm.

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Field Report From Mars: Sols 3237-3262 - March 4–29, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/03/29 11:27 CDT

Flash memory or computer problems oddly occurred on both Curiosity and Opportunity around Feb 27. One possibility is that a large solar flare resulted in radiation at Mars sufficient to temporarily corrupt the memory on both rovers.

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Curiosity update, sol 227: Some sharpshooting and a dusty deck

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/29 10:50 CDT | 4 comments

Curiosity is back to science operations, though the activities are limited in scope by the fact that conjunction is fast approaching. Here's a couple of neat images from sol 227.

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LPSC 2013: Sedimentary stratigraphy with Curiosity and Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/20 04:19 CDT | 4 comments

A mind-boggling quantity of information is being presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. In my first report from the meeting, I try to make sense of the Curiosity and Opportunity sessions.

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Yes, it was once a Martian lake: Curiosity has been sent to the right place

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/12 05:36 CDT | 7 comments

The news from the Curiosity mission today is this: Curiosity has found, at the site called John Klein, a rock that contains evidence for a past environment that would have been suitable for Earth-like microorganisms.

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Planetary Society Hangout: March 7th, 2013 - What's Going On With Curiosity and a NASA Budget Update
Thursday at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/03/07 12:35 CST | 3 comments

Thursday at noon PST/3pm EST/20:00 UT we check in with Emily Lakdawalla to bring us up to speed with Curiosity's computer problems and we check in on NASA's budget status.

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Instruments for the JUICE Jovian Mission

Posted by Van Kane on 2013/03/07 12:20 CST | 6 comments

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced the list of instruments selected for its JUICE mission to explore the Jovian system for three years starting in the 2030 following a 2022 launch.

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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 comments

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 comments

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 comments

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 comments

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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