Mars Science Laboratory

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Christopher K.
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » September 26th, 2012, 3:49 pm

Thanks to the hard work of BRAS Observing Chairman Art Barrios, Dr. Comeaux will be the speaker at the next BRAS meeting, Monday 8 October at 7pm.

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » October 6th, 2012, 1:25 pm

For those who cannot make the Monday evening talk, Dr. Comeaux will also be speaking on Thursday, 11 October at 3:30pm in Room 130 of the Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex. That building is on the River side of the LSU Student Union, and next to Nicholson Hall. However, please keep in mind this is an actual physics colloquium, and as such the lecture and questions may be somewhat more complex than what is to be experienced at the BRAS meeting.

More information:
http://www.phys.lsu.edu/newwebsite/coll ... rrent.html

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » October 9th, 2012, 9:09 pm

Keith Comeaux gave a brilliant and captivating talk last night at HRPO. Many BRAS members, LSU students and others were pleased and quite happy to have been part of the most memorable BRAS meeting in years. Comeaux was very gracious, answering questions for quite some time.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » February 7th, 2013, 3:05 pm

An artist's conception showing the touchdown of Curiosity onto Mars was used as the July picture in the 2013 NASA Science calendar. Interestingly, the caption on the calendar makes a point of stating it was "the hardest mission in the history of robotic planetary exploration".

The illustration is at:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/m ... 14841.html

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » July 1st, 2013, 9:59 pm

Tuesday's APOD is a good one. I've never seen such sharpness in a Martian image, much less a panorama. One notices almost right away the section of the image with Curiosity itself is in black-and-white, but the whole panorama is worth staring at for minutes at a time.

This is an important transition phase for Curiosity. It will soon begin a hike southwest toward Mt. Sharp, the central peak of Gale Crater.

25 June APOD:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130625.html

Additional information:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/jpl/news/msl20130605.html

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » August 6th, 2014, 4:59 pm

Happy second birthday, Curiosity! It's been a wonderful two years. Curiosity studied rocks in Yellowknife Bay and found evidence of an ancient freshwater lake, along with chemical "food" for any microbes that may have been. Beginning last month, the JPL team was steering Curiosity toward Zabriskie Plateau but the rover has injured wheels from a similar terrain. The announcement came on 8 July that the rover had finally driven out of the original 7km x 20km landing ellipse that was its target. As of that day the rover had driven a little more that eight kilometers.

On or about last Thursday Curiosity reached the edge of Hidden Valley.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/mro/mars-orbite ... -20140708/
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/msl/curiosity-20140805/

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » January 17th, 2015, 4:03 pm

In May of last year Curiosity created its third "self-portrait", showing itself posed next to the Windjana rock and the hole drilled into it. This picture is used as the August image for this year's NASA Science calendar.

The image:
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/msl/pia18390/

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » March 21st, 2015, 12:26 pm

The 9 February APOD is a November 2014 shot of one-meter-wide Whale Rock near the base of Mount Sharp on Mars. Curiosity is hard at work determining the origin of layered Martian rocks.

9 February APOD:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150209.html

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » July 23rd, 2015, 5:09 pm

Looking at a MAHLI image that was recorder in late May, I was reminded of rust-tinted version of a cross-section of that goopy aggregate cement that had the variety of round rocks embedded in it. According to the writeup below the image, scientists believe some of the rocks may have traveled "long distances" but I wonder exactly how far away the rocks' original homes were. I know since the winds are thin, a visitor would not be so prone to get blown over even when those winds were high-speed.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/msl/pia19677/di ... et-big-arm

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Mars Science Laboratory

Post by Christopher K. » September 2nd, 2015, 7:19 pm

Curiosity celebrated its third Earth year at Mars on the 6th. A paranorama generated on Sols 952 and 953 is its present to us. NASA has been on Mars with robotic missions each decades since the 1970s!

8 August APOD:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150808.html

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