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Thread: Curiosity Surface Operations

  1. #901
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Thanks for that find.
    Unfortunately due to a hiccup, drilling is on hold for now.

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/curiosit...lling-on-hold/

    “After a successful drill preload test, Curiosity was primed to drill for the first time in about a year,” reports Christopher Edwards, a planetary geologist at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

    “Unfortunately, due to a light downlink from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, we didn’t get all the images down needed to safely carry out the drill activity in this weekend’s plan,” Edwards added. “Instead, we’ll push the drill activity out until we get the needed images down to help ensure it will complete successfully! Until then the view of the arm preload activity provides tantalizing hints of great things to come.”

  2. #902
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    Curiosity just celebrated 2000 Mars days on the planet

    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Mar..._2000_999.html

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover just hit a new milestone: its two-thousandth Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet. An image mosaic taken by the rover in January offers a preview of what comes next.

  3. #903
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    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  4. #904
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    As reported....

    Curiosity's international science team concluded that habitable conditions lasted for at least millions of years.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  5. #905
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    Emily Lakdawalla takes us through what Curiosity has been up to in the past month. She also covers the drilling and the problems it is having.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily...1972-2026.html

    Following 200 sols of work, Curiosity's walkabout of the top of Vera Rubin Ridge (begun back around sol 1814) is complete. Curiosity mission style is to perform one or two surveys of a field site with remote sensing and contact science instruments before committing to drill locations. A first attempt at drilling into Vera Rubin Ridge, at a site named Lake Orcadie, on sols 1977 and 1984, did not succeed in collecting any sample. They didn't hang around at Lake Orcadie, instead traversing to several science-rich spots to characterize the ridge. Some spots had notable hematite concentrations, while others had weird collections of rocks.

  6. #906
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    The drill might be back to almost its previous condition.

    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/NAS..._Back_999.html

    NASA's Curiosity rover could soon be drilling rocks on Mars again. Engineers have been working for the past year to restore the rover's full drilling capabilities, which were hampered in 2016 due to a mechanical problem. Later this weekend, they'll be adding percussion to a new technique already in use on Mars.

    This new technique is called Feed Extended Drilling, or FED. It lets Curiosity drill more like the way a person would at home, using the force of its robotic arm to push its drill bit forward as it spins. The new version of FED adds a hammering force to the drill bit.

    The drill was tested with the FED technique without percussion at the end of February. It didn't successfully produce a rock sample, but did provide valuable results for engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Data from the percussive tests, currently planned for Saturday night, will help them continue to refine the drill technique over the coming months.

  7. #907
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The drill might be back to almost its previous condition.

    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/NAS..._Back_999.html
    It is

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucedo.../#13af89c2484e

    NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover is for the first time testing an improvised new percussive drilling technique intended to pound subsurface samples into powder in hopes of better understanding the shallow Martian subsurface.

    After a year’s drilling hiatus, Curiosity is again back to drilling samples in rocks at the surface of Mars’ Gale Crater.

  8. #908
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    Tune in to a NASA press conference with "live discussion" on "new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover".

    https://www.space.com/40792-nasa-mar...june-2018.html

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has apparently found something intriguing on Mars, and the space agency will unveil the discovery Thursday (June 7).

    The space agency revealed few details about what will be announced Thursday, but the "live discussion" will feature "new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover," according to a NASA announcement. Why all the secrecy? "The results are embargoed by the journal Science until then," NASA wrote in the statement.

    That means NASA won't release any details until the press conference, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Thursday. You can watch the Mars announcement live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. The space agency did reveal the list of scientists who will be discussing the Mars discovery.

  9. #909
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    Bump...

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Tune in to a NASA press conference with "live discussion" on "new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover".

    https://www.space.com/40792-nasa-mar...june-2018.html

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has apparently found something intriguing on Mars, and the space agency will unveil the discovery Thursday (June 7).

    The space agency revealed few details about what will be announced Thursday, but the "live discussion" will feature "new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover," according to a NASA announcement. Why all the secrecy? "The results are embargoed by the journal Science until then," NASA wrote in the statement.

    That means NASA won't release any details until the press conference, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Thursday. You can watch the Mars announcement live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. The space agency did reveal the list of scientists who will be discussing the Mars discovery.
    Bumping this because a number of news sites (not necessarily reliable ones) are using the phrase "major announcement", though this may be hyperbole, or some a person with this military ranking. As stated, it is at 2 pm EDT today. [ I also enjoy Michelle Thaller, who is the host.]
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  10. #910
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    Seasonal methane data from Curiosity show nearly a factor of 3 increase of levels during northern summers:-
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2...levels/9843918

  11. #911
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    Here is the NASA press release.
    There were two findings, reported in two different papers. The first is the seasonal methane changes reported by loglo. The second is the finding of organic molecules.

    The new findings – “tough” organic molecules in three-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks near the surface, as well as seasonal variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere – appear in the June 8 edition of the journal Science.
    “Curiosity has not determined the source of the organic molecules,” said Jen Eigenbrode of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who is lead author of one of the two new Science papers. “Whether it holds a record of ancient life, was food for life, or has existed in the absence of life, organic matter in Martian materials holds chemical clues to planetary conditions and processes.”
    The results also indicate organic carbon concentrations on the order of 10 parts per million or more. This is close to the amount observed in Martian meteorites and about 100 times greater than prior detections of organic carbon on Mars’ surface. Some of the molecules identified include thiophenes, benzene, toluene, and small carbon chains, such as propane or butene.
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  12. #912
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    Links to the two papers

    Methane
    Variable levels of methane in the martian atmosphere have eluded explanation partly because the measurements are not repeatable in time or location. We report in situ measurements at Gale crater made over a 5-year period by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity rover. The background levels of methane have a mean value 0.41 ± 0.16 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) (95% confidence interval) and exhibit a strong, repeatable seasonal variation (0.24 to 0.65 ppbv). This variation is greater than that predicted from either ultraviolet degradation of impact-delivered organics on the surface or from the annual surface pressure cycle. The large seasonal variation in the background and occurrences of higher temporary spikes (~7 ppbv) are consistent with small localized sources of methane released from martian surface or subsurface reservoirs.
    Organics
    Establishing the presence and state of organic matter, including its possible biosignatures, in martian materials has been an elusive quest, despite limited reports of the existence of organic matter on Mars. We report the in situ detection of organic matter preserved in lacustrine mudstones at the base of the ~3.5-billion-year-old Murray formation at Pahrump Hills, Gale crater, by the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite onboard the Curiosity rover. Diverse pyrolysis products, including thiophenic, aromatic, and aliphatic compounds released at high temperatures (500° to 820°C), were directly detected by evolved gas analysis. Thiophenes were also observed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Their presence suggests that sulfurization aided organic matter preservation. At least 50 nanomoles of organic carbon persists, probably as macromolecules containing 5% carbon as organic sulfur molecules.
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  13. #913
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    From the organics report wrap-up:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eigenbrode etal
    ... SAM’s molecular observations do not clearly reveal the source of the organic matter in the Murray formation. Biological, geological, and meteoritic sources are all possible.
    and from the Introduction:
    Quote Originally Posted by Eigenbrode etal
    Correlation and relative intensities of peaks suggest molecular structures that differ by single carbon additions (–CH–, –CH2–, and –CH3 additions), which are characteristic of an array of aliphatic fragments from larger molecules and commonly observed in high-temperature pyrolysis products of terrestrial kerogens and coals and carbonaceous chondrites.

  14. #914
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    Emily Lakdawalla tries to explain to us the paper that came out last month on "organic materials in Mars rocks".

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily...s-on-mars.html

    Last month, Curiosity mission scientists published a pair of papers in Science magazine. One of them was about methane, and the other was about organic materials in Mars rocks. There was a lot of hype and speculation around the announcement, and some good and some not-so-good journalism. I thought I could help matters by translating one of the papers from "scientist-ese" into terms that a broader group could understand. I decided to do the organics paper, by Jen Eigenbrode et al., because the word "organics" makes a lot of people jump to (incorrect) conclusions about life on Mars.

    The following is a fairly direct translation of the paper, though I have added in additional context to support your understanding. I put that additional contextual text in italics to separate it from the more strictly translated material. This blog post is mostly in the same order as the original paper until I get to the discussion section, where I rearranged things to help readers follow the argument.

  15. #915
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    Ugh scientist-ese. The only language that needs buried more is legalese.

  16. #916
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    Curiosity celebrates 6 earth years on Mars

    https://mashable.com/2018/08/05/curi.../#pwqmuOopIkqb

    Sunday, Aug. 5 marked the sixth anniversary of Curiosity's historic touchdown on the surface of Mars and the rover celebrated the way we all do: with a post on social media.

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