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.
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.
Mars rover Curiosity has landed. You know this because you have an Internet connection and because the hair-raising landing--though conducted in the middle of the night on a Sunday/Monday--was a huge media spectacle, and justifiably so.
NASA will lose the signal from its brand-new Mars rover one minute before it touches down on the Red Planet in three weeks, project managers say. This won’t affect the rover’s autonomous airdrop descent, but it could make for some harrowing moments as engineers wait for the long-distance beep signifying Curiosity is safely home.
When NASA's new Mars rover lands on the Red Planet this summer, it's safe to assume it'll be some time in the morning or early afternoon at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, home of the rover science and engineering teams. So that means it'll be mid-afternoon on the East Coast, evening in Europe, and so on —- pretty easy to figure out the time zones. But what time will it be on Mars? What time zone will Curiosity live in -- and how can you even tell?
Timekeeping on Mars is a bit like telling time on Earth, because the planets are similar in lots of ways. But there are just enough differences to drive a person slightly crazy.
Before I sat down to write this morning, I poured coffee into my shuttle-emblazoned Space Camp mug and thought about the end of this era. Like many of you, and like legions of space advocates around the globe, I've rolled through a litany of emotions at the denouement of the American space shuttle program.
Engineers are testing the parachutes that will slow down the Mars Science Lab as it approaches the surface of the Red Planet
By Gregory MonePosted 04.08.2008 at 9:45 am 0 Comments
The Mars Science Lab, the pricey, SUV-sized next-generation rover, will rush through the Red Planet's atmosphere at twice the speed of sound when it approaches in 2010, and engineers are now hard at work testing the parachute that will slow it down.
Such tests might not sound all that exciting, given that this rover is going to be loaded with high-tech gear, including the equipment necessary to identify, gather and then analyze interesting materials on-board. But they're absolutely critical, since the billion-dollar rover needs a soft landing, and won't have a chance to use any of those cool tools if it doesn't touch down properly.