Curiosity moves on, scoop still not working

For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. They practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.
Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Curiosity’s science team has finished its work at Namib Dune and has decided to move on, even though they are still analyzing an unspecified issue with the rover’s scoop instrument.

So far, in the week since they first had a problem while sifting sand from the dune, they have not described in any way what the problem is. All they have said is this:

Unfortunately, the CHIMRA behaved in an unexpected way during processing of the third scoop on Sol 1231, which prevented completion of the arm activities planned for last weekend.

The robot arm functions, and they used it yesterday to get some extreme close-ups of the sand, but it appears they cannot use the scoop at this time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *