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.
The Mars rover Curiosity’s first roll was more than a cause for celebration — it will help pinpoint where the rover set down, and emblazon the name of its maker into the Martian soil. Curiosity’s wheels have holes arranged in the Morse code pattern for “JPL.”
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.
More than just a scientific mission, Mars rover Curiosity's final, frightening descent stirred up plenty of emotions, from both the engineers who piloted it and from spectators around the world. We all held our breath as the rover went through the "seven minutes of terror" that was the landing--and then celebrated when news came of a successful finale. It was beautiful, and we've collected some of the best reactions to its descent, as well as some of the early pictures Curiosity sent back to Earth.
PASADENA, Calif. -- We've seen a brief sample of the full-color environment at Gale Crater on Mars, but before the Mars rover Curiosity can beam back full-size versions, its cameras need a checkup. Scientists want to be sure they're seeing Mars as it really looks, in real ochre -- so the cameras have to be calibrated. To do it, Curiosity will call upon one of the most ancient tools of astronomy: A sundial.