John Bridges: Mars Science Laboratory Blog
In addition to the blog, you can find some amazing videos and other content related to the mission, at:
MSL is back and working as normal. This MastCam picture shows that even at this early stage of the dust season (ls = 190 ie we haven't reached perihelion of Mars orbit yet) the crater rim is becoming obscured.
No current photos because MSL has gone into safe mode for the last few days due to a software glitch. That means we wont get images or much data back for a few days. This has happened 3 times before so we are confident Curiosity will soon be up and working again.
Here is the latest HiRISE image of Curiosity. It shows the rover on the Naukluft Plateau where we have been for the last few months. We are now driving south - back onto the Murray formation lacustrine mudstones and on to the Hematite Ridge within a year.
The full image can be seen at:
Here is the Oudam drillhole and the nearby dump piles for material that has been analysed by CheMin. Curiosity is now producing a fast turnaround for drilling and analysing - essential to link mineralogy to ChemCam and APXS analyses.
We are working on a ChemCam team-led model to link the silica-rich mineralogy to the fluid history in this part of Gale. For instance were the fluids acid (to give a 'fluid on steroids' type ability to dissolve rocks) or near-neutral, which could still dissolve rocks, but more slowly?