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Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour replay: What's up with Curiosity on Mars, with guest: me! (yes, again)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

12-09-2012 19:00 CDT

Topics: podcasts and videos, events and announcements, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

I'm hosting this week's Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour on Google+. Rather than having a special guest I'll be speaking myself about what's going on with Curiosity, and will leave lots of time to answer people's questions. Join me at 1600 PDT / 2300 UTC at I'll embed the video here when we go live; or you can come back to this post after it's over to watch the replay. Feel free to add comments here with questions you'd like me to answer!

Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour, Sept. 12, 2012: Curiosity update

Emily Lakdawalla and Fraser Cain talk about the status of the Curiosity mission at about sol 37, with Fraser asking Emily audience questions. At the time, Curiosity was wrapping up the commissioning of its robotic arm with its MAHLI and APXS instruments.

See other posts from September 2012


Or read more blog entries about: podcasts and videos, events and announcements, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)


Jeff: 09/12/2012 02:00 CDT

Hi, I know that Curiosity contains a lot of improvements upon earlier rovers like Spirit and Opportunity. But I was wondering - are there things that Spirit and Opportunity do better than Curiosity?

Frederick: 09/12/2012 01:07 CDT

I am not sure if these questions will be answered in today's JPL press conference, but I am very curious about ChemCam results. I have not heard anything since a Roger Wiens talked at a press conferences a couple (?) weeks ago. I saw the raster but did not see any results. Also has ChemCam been sampling all along the way? Has it been able to detect any sedimentary deposits?

Frederick: 09/12/2012 01:11 CDT

Can you clarify a point for me about Opportunity at Cape York? Has it actually sampled phyllosilicates there (with APXS?) or does the team just assume that it is currently on clay outcrops based on CRISM data?

Nick: 09/12/2012 05:59 CDT

Any news on results of SAM for methane? I bet we're all pretty curious about whether or not the source can be determined by this instrument. Thanks!

Del: 09/12/2012 06:08 CDT

The chemcam camera seems to be a terrific standalone camera/telescope. Are there plans to use it for long distance photography without the spectroscopy?

kerfoker: 09/12/2012 08:31 CDT

Hi Emily: Two questions: This is the first nuclear powered rover vehicle. The primary mission is one Martian sol. What is the expected life for Curiosity given that it's nuclear powered? Curiosity has those dust covers on its camera lenses. Do the dust covers cover up when the cameras aren't photographing? I'm reading the 'Wool' science fiction stories which incorporate the need for persons to go out to clean dust off camera lenses outside their shelter on an inhospitable Earth. Thanks for all you do!

Cotinis: 09/13/2012 10:44 CDT

Interesting video. The Greek letters on the calibration target "gamma-delta-beta-gamma" are indeed a Caltech reference, signifying "G**-da**-Blacker-Gang". Blacker is one of the Caltech "houses", which are residence dorms, not fraternities, as there is no Greek system at CIT. More info at "DEI" is another common bit of CIT graffiti--it is said to be on several space probes. --CIT '81 (Ricketts, which seems to have no trademark abbreviation)

Casey Dreier (TPS): 09/15/2012 09:11 CDT

@Frederick: Regarding ChemCam, it's been sampling quite a bit, based on the pictures in the MSL raw images site. The reason we haven't heard anything more is probably because they're spending a lot of time carefully calibrating the instrument. There's never been anything like this on Mars before, so they want to make sure they know how to read the results.

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