MastCam mosaic of the Curiosity traverse, taken from 300 m up on Vera Rubin Ridge.

1st February 2018 Sol 1952 Vera Rubin Ridge and Scotland on Mars

This MastCam panorama shows a view back to our mission’s start at Bradbury Landing, 18 km distant and 330 m below our current vantage point on Vera Rubin Ridge. The team is meeting at Caltech in Pasadena to review our results at Vera Rubin Ridge and plan the next phase of driving up Mt Sharp, […]

View from Vera Rubin Ridge towards the Scottish Quadrangle on Mars

10th November 2017 Sol 1871 – Scottish Quadrangle on Mars

The field area for Curiosity along its traverse (currently nearly 18 km) is divided into a series of map qaudrangles. Each of these has outcrop and feature names based on a region of Earth e.g. South Africa, Maine etc. We are just about to move into a Scottish quad. With colleagues in our Participating Scientist […]

View from Vera Rubin Ridge

12th September 2017 Sol 1814 – Curiosity’s View Across Gale Crater

  The Curiosity Rover has reached an elevation of 300 metres above our landing site.  We have made it up the first part of Vera Rubin Ridge and are now starting to get some views down and over the Gale Crater plains.  The crater rim mountains can be seen in the distance. This is a […]

5th August 2017 Sol 1777 –  5 years on Mars

5th August 2017 Sol 1777 – 5 years on Mars

The 5th August marks  5 Earth years since the successful landing of Mars Science Laboratory.  During the landing I was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.  We were all nervous but the signals for successful atmospheric entry, parachute deployment, Skycrane operation and then landing all came through.   The first image of Mt Sharp […]

24th July 2017 Sol 1765 Solar Conjunction

No new photos from Mars Science laboratory. Why? We have reached Solar Conjunction – this is the time in the planets’ orbits when Mars is obscured from the Earth by the Sun. During this period communications between Mars Science Laboratory and Earth via the orbiters like MRO are very limited. We have parked for conjunction […]

Vera Rubin Ridge approach upslope

30th May 2017 Sol 1711

This Navigation camera image gives  feel for the slopes of Aeolis Mons that we are climbing now.  Daily drives often now ascend ~2 m and we have more battery recharging days. We are just a  few drives from Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR) where we will test the ‘ground truth’ for the orbital identification of the […]

27th April 2017 Sol 1679

27th April 2017 Sol 1679

After 4.5 years, 16.2 km of driving and 1679 martian days (sols) the Curiosity Rover has reached the point here we are starting to leave the Bagnold dunes in Gale Crater. We have driven parallel to these basaltic dunes for the first part of the mission then cut through them at the Bagnold crossing. The next big […]

5th April 2017 Sol 1658

The second Bagnold Dunes campaign is now drawing to a close.  We have a sieved (150 micron) sample of the dune in the internal cache which will be used for SAM isotope and organic analyses, and CheMin mineral identification. Here we see an array (a ’10 by 1′) of ChemCam laser shots captured by MastCam.

4th March 2017 Sol 1627

We are continuing the Bagnold Dunes campaign, with  stops 3 and 4. This NavCam view shows the Curiosity robotic arm for the team’s examination.  Here we have checked the position of the MAHLI cover (seen at the bottom of the robotic arm turret) and all is as planned for future operations.

24th February 2017 – Sol 1620

We have been examining Ireson Hill and found this unusual 10-15 cm diameter rock- called Passagassawakakeag ! The shape is an almost perfect Dreikanter.  That’s a German word  for a sample in desert or periglacial environments formed by the abrasion of blown sand. Dreikanters typically have a pyramid shape with flat wind-abraded facets.  

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