That didn't take long: early yesterday we received the earliest images from Mars rover Curiosity's descent and landing zone, and now we've received the first color image from the Mars mission. It shows the Gale Crater in the background--Curiosity's home for now--and the next images will only be getting better from here.
The dust cover on the Mars Hand Lens Imager, the instrument that the image was taken with, ended up, well, covered in dust from Curiosity's rough-and-tumble fall down to the planet's surface. Images without the cover will be sent back to Earth in the coming weeks.
MAHLI, as the lens is nicknamed, is usually used for close-up view of rocks or soil to be studied, but it can focus from right in front of its nose (about 0.8 inches) all the way to the edge of the crater seen in this photo.
my congratulations and graditude extended to all involved, cheers
NASA also revealed photos taken by Curiosity's downward-facing camera showing the heat shield falling away, as well as a GIF of the rover landing: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120806c.html.
Why the tilt in the camera image? Is there a specific reason for that?
It will be cool when they start using the full spectrum of instruments and start answering some questions...hopefully they are good answers that lead us to a must do manned mission!
From my understanding of the situation, the picture was taken at that angle because the camera, along with other various instruments have not been "unpacked" as it were after landing. NASA is running the lander through various system wide checks (think of it as a system shakedown) to ensure that all things are in working order. This is protocol for ensuring that things are as they should be before proceeding, if anything is to be found out of order, they will focus on either remidying or bypassing the various faults before proceeding on the mission plan.
As stated before, the dust cap (read: lenscap) is still on the camera(hence the grainy, unfocused and dust obscured image. So, we can expect that in the coming days/weeks, more data and imagery to be released once the recieve aproval and they make sure all Martians have been digitally removed from all images... Now, NASA should focus on activating the Flux Capacitor and using that nuclear power source to get the 1.21 Jiggawatts... Hopefully the Mr. Fusion made it through the landing unscathed...
Would you really want to go there? Not to challenge anyone, but 6 months one way in spaceflight with minimal everything. The negative effects on the body, eyes etc are extreme.
And once you're there, what? Walk around in a life support suit, probably in frequent dust storms and look at rust colored rocks?
And you gotta know actually doing it is going to suck Much more than the above would suggest. Right?
Y'all can have that action.
And leading up to terra-forming Mars? Personally, I'd bet we can figure out how to travel to life-sustaining planets before we could turn Mars atmosphere into a living environment.
Having said that I'm not dissing this mission. The technology was impressive, and a nuke powered rover should last a good long time unless someone hits it wiht teh Q36 Illudium Space Modulator....
Even if we terra-form Mars we cannot live on it unless we create an artificial magnetic field around the planet to protect us from dangerous particles from the sun. Mars does not have a magnetic field like Earth.
We need Bruce Willis to catch a metal asteroid, drill into mars and pump molten said asteroid into the core. BOOM, magnetic field.
@Bob_F Someone's gotta do it. Someone always has to take the initiative. And, people should worry less about telling people what they should or should not do with their lives. There will be hardship, and it may not turn out to be a payoff...... But, that's not the point. You have to try, or else what the hell are we good for? Live on a planet to the end of days and forgotten millions of years later. No! Someone steps up, and instead of stepping in their way we empower them. It's for the greater good.
Since Terra-forming will take a very long time put enormous centrifuges under each city for a local magnetic field. And, until you devise a way to pump enough breathable air into your local environment you will still need suits. No, we do not have the technology to do this, but we need an established population first.
Humanity will proceed! Even if the intrepid are forced to dispose of the timid somewhere down the line. I would suggest just stepping out of the way and getting left behind rather being disposed of.
@Vectron Are you willing to do it? Maybe you are, but if not don't ask anyone else to.
And again, I don't remember what the estimated number was (but it doesn't matter because it's all subjective anyway) but it's on the order of thousands of years to terra-form Mars. I'll take the bet we invent warp drive before you can get Mars into a livable environment If At All.
Anyway, to Infinity and Beyond !
People, we already invented warp drive, it's called the Alcubierre Drive, and it's the only mathematically possible way we've come up with to travel FTL(because it doesn't actually travel FTL). The problem is that it would require ridiculous amounts of energy to create the field, not to mention the R&D to invent the engine. Until then, we probably have to make due with sub-light travel. So let's take care of what we have.
Isn't that from the other rovers that were already up there?
Ha, looks like California... (sorry pollutions not funny)