Friday, August 17, 2012

Curiosity Update: My Favorite Martian Photos

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Curiosity snapped this shot of its separated heat shield during its descent onto Mars
  • NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
  • Curiosity snapped this shot of its separated heat shield during its descent onto Mars

The Mars Curiosity team took to Reddit to discuss the latest on the mission yesterday. Talking Points Memo has the takeaways:


NASA scientists have been understandably proud of performing the most accurate landing of an unmanned robotic spacecraft yet, with the Mars Curiosity Rover touching down just one-and-a-half miles away from its precise landing target, an amazing feat given the sheer complexity and unaccountable factors involved in descent, such as Martian weather.

The pride makes even more sense now, given the Curiosity team’s admission on Reddit that the rover is unlikely to ever leave the area immediately surrounding its landing site, a 96-mile-wide depression known as Gale Crater, which scientists believe could have retained liquid water — and thus, offered increased chances of supporting life — on ancient Mars.

As Steve Collins, the rover’s cruise altitude and control systems engineer, wrote in response to a user question: “Probably won’t leave Gale crater. It’s huge! and there is plenty of interesting science to do there.”

Specifically, NASA is aiming to drive the rover from its current position on the edge of the crater over to one of the major features of its interior, a 3.4-mile high mountain known as Mount Sharp, where the Curiosity team wants to sample rocks and soil for clues as to the history of Mars’ climate and geology.

Meanwhile, Slate has assembled a gallery of some of the coolest pics from the Curiosity mission. After the jump, you'll find a Martian landscape photo, as well as a spectacular pic of Curiosity's landing spot taken by the UA's HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Curiosity_03.JPG
  • NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Jim Nintzel

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
PiYo Strength Class

PiYo Strength Class @ Floor Polish

Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

The Harry Potter Charity Ball

Strada Company presents a celebration and cosplay party of all things Harry Potter for the benefit of… More

@ Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral Sat., July 29, 6-10 p.m. 160 S. Scott Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. A Few Thoughts On the Mexican American Studies Trial (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. BASIS Connives to Maintain Its Elite Charter School Status in Baton Rouge (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Jogger Plans Half-Day Run To Support No More Deaths (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Tour Diaries! XIXA Day 13: Italian Thieves! XIXA Tour Van Busted Into, Gear Ripped Off. (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Head Back East with the Kingfisher's Summer Road Trip Menu (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation