A new image released by NASA this week shows the Mars Rover Curiosity’s view of the red planet in a sweeping 360 degrees. The rover, which is en route toward a location known as Glenelg since last week, has been prodigiously snapping photos with its navigation camera, and mission handlers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory stitched together this panorama that shows both where Curiosity has been and where it is going.
Since we don't have the usual landmarks on Mars that we enjoy on Earth, it can be tough to get a sense of scale for the great shots we've seen from Mars rover Curiosity. In this photo of Mount Sharp--Curiosity's scientific destination--the mound in the center of the image is about 1,000 feet across and 300 feet high. Curiosity, relative to that, looks like a speck of dirt, as you can see after the jump.
As promised, NASA has stitched together high-resolution imagery of the descent and landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, captured from the rover's own bellycam. The full-color four-frame-per-second video is below, with synchronized narration from Allen Chen and the other scientists in the control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Two weeks after being expertly parked in Mars's Gale Crater by NASA's sky crane apparatus, Mars rover Curiosity has made its first test-drive. It wasn't a particularly long journey; it moved just 10 feet from its landing site--a half-hour trip--so to re-park itself in an area where the rover has visually confirmed there are no obstacles.
Since the moment the Mars rover Curiosity landed in Gale Crater two weeks ago, NASA engineers have been living on Mars time, rolling their clocks forward 40 minutes every day to keep time with the rover. One engineer brought his entire family along for the ride.
Flight director David Oh, his wife, Bryn, and their three kids — 13-year-old Braden, 10-year-old Ashlyn and 8-year-old Devyn — are waking and sleeping in accordance with the Martian clock.
A Mars day, called a sol, is 39 minutes and 35 seconds longer than an Earth day — not a huge difference, but one that adds up quickly. It drives most engineers crazy. The Oh family is making somewhat of a staycation out of it, at least before the kids start school. AP spent some time at their Pasadena-area home — click through to the Huffington Post to hear about their adventure.
The Martian rock recently named N165 found itself thrust into the limelight this week as it received a new neighbor from Earth--the Mars rover Curiosity. Some genius made a Twitter account from the perspective of N165 as it meets Curiosity, attempts to make friends--and is ruthlessly attacked.
After a couple days of black-and-white imagery and blurry color thumbnails, the Mars rover Curiosity has downlinked its first full-color, 360-degree view of its new home in Gale Crater. Click past the jump to enlarge the whole thing--it's incredible.
NASA has just released the best-looking photo (above) we have of the Gale Crater, the piece of the Red Planet where Mars rover Curiosity landed last night. The photo shows the rim of the crater on the horizon and a gravel field in the foreground, as seen through a fisheye lens, a part of the many cameras Curiosity has on board.
Why send truck-sized rovers when you can send nanobots?
By Becky FerreiraPosted 08.02.2012 at 11:22 am 4 Comments
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, scheduled to reach the red planet this Sunday, is the size of an SUV for good reason: It's built to carry 165 pounds of scientific instruments over boulders and into gullies. But putting Hummer-size robots on other planets is not altogether practical. For one, it's expensive. (Getting a Curiosity-weight rover to Mars takes more than a million pounds of fuel.) Large rovers are also power-hungry and limited in range. For future missions, some researchers, eager to do more science with fewer resources, have begun looking to nanobots—each one about one-one-billionth as big as Curiosity.
Mars Rover Curiosity is the latest in a robotic chain of explorers created by scientists and engineers, with each new iteration building on past Mars rovers' successes and failures. Mars Rover Curiosity is similar to rovers that have gone before. But it's the most advanced rover ever, and the instruments it carries to analyze Mars will give us more insight than we've ever had.