Saturday, January 20, 2018

'Curiosity' reaches out on Mars, touches a rock named Jake

The Curiosity rover has reached out and made personal contact with a Martian rock. Last week, the Mars rover team decided to inch closer to the nearby rock, believed to be a good bet for first-ever tests of Curiosity's "contact instruments," according to NASA.

The rock, like so much else within Curiosity's purview, has been given a name: Jake Matijevic. Ashwin Vasavada, who is part of the rover team, said Monday that Matijevic was a legendary engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who recently died.

"In the last few days, the rover has been analyzing Jake Matijevic," Vasavada said. "After searching for a few days, we found this rock that had all the characteristics necessary to cross-compare the measurements from our arm-mounted instruments with those of the mast-mounted instruments."

Instruments on the rover are expected to be used for examining Jake, according to NASA, which will then cross-check results.

Next?

"The next near-term objective is to find a patch of loose soil that will be used to test our scooping ability and to clean off our sampling tools," said Vasavada, deputy project scientist with the team.

Here's more on Matijevic, who is now immortalized on Mars.

Jake Matijevic was the surface operations systems chief engineer for Mars Science Laboratory and the Curiosity rover. He died Aug. 20, at age 64, according to NASA. He also was a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity. A recent obituary said Matijevic had suffered throughout his life with asthma and upper respiratory ailments.

Comments

Southeast Missouri State earns 86-74 win at Eastern Illinois

Daniel Simmons and Justin Carpenter combined to score 50 points to spark Southeast Missouri State to an 86-74 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Eastern Illinois
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends NFL viewing

Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends NFL viewing

Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends viewing of NFL games for military outside US
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends NFL viewing

Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends NFL viewing

Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends viewing of NFL games for military outside US
Updated: 8 minutes ago

Ivey has double-double, Akron rolls past N. Illinois 82-67

Jimond Ivey had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as Akron rolled to an 82-67 victory over Northern Illinois
Updated: 8 minutes ago

East Tennessee State cruises past Western Carolina 66-50

Desonta Bradford scored 16 points, including two 3-pointers, and East Tennessee State extended its win streak to 10 with a 66-50 victory over Western Carolina
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Fairleigh Dickinson holds off Mount St. Mary's 73-72

Darnell Edge scored 18 points and Jahlil Jenkins scored 16 and Fairleigh Dickinson held on for a 73-72 win over Mount St. Mary's to end a four-game losing streak
Updated: 10 minutes ago
The Latest: Democrats, Republicans feud over shutdown blame

The Latest: Democrats, Republicans feud over shutdown blame

Feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress spend the day dodging blame for a paralyzing government shutdown
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Shutdown challenges Trump's dealmaker branding

Shutdown challenges Trump's dealmaker branding

He wrote a book on the art of negotiation and was elected to office claiming he alone could end Washington gridlock, but President Donald Trump's latest attempt to broker a big, bipartisan deal has turned into a big mess
Updated: 10 minutes ago

Abilene Christian dumps C. Arkansas behind Friday's 18 PTs

Jalone Friday scored 18 points and Jaren Lewis scored 13 with 11 rebounds and Abilene Christian pulled away in the second half for an 80-63 win over Central Arkansas
Updated: 11 minutes ago