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Keyword: curiosity

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Inspects Mt. Remarkable on Mars

    05/07/2014 4:40:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 41 replies
    NASA ^ | May 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What has the Curiosity rover come across on Mars? Dubbed Mount Remarkable, the rolling robot has chanced upon this notable 5-meter tall mound during its continuing journey around and, eventually, up 5.5-kilometer high Mt. Sharp. Unsure of the density of the surrounding layered sandstone, the human team on Earth has instructed the car-sized rover on Mars to drill into a rock on the side of Mt. Remarkable to investigate. Quite possibly, water involved in creating the dense sandstone could have helped to support ancient life on the red planet. Mt. Sharp, the unusual central peak of Gale Crater, has...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Crossing Dingo Gap on Mars

    02/18/2014 8:22:31 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    NASA ^ | February 18, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: An important threshold on Mars has now been crossed. Landing in mid-2012, the Curiosity rover is searching for clues of whether life could ever have existed on the red planet. Recent findings of Curiosity include evidence for an ancient (but now dried) freshwater lake, and the non-detection of the biomarker methane in the Martian atmosphere. To continue its investigation, the car-sized rover is on an expedition to roll up Mt. Sharp, the central peak of the large crater in which it landed. Life might have shown preference for water that once ran down the Martian mountain. Two weeks ago,...
  • Incredible Interactive Virtual Reality Application of Curiosity Rover on Mars

    10/23/2013 3:59:48 PM PDT · by lbryce · 15 replies
    JPL/NASA ^ | October 23, 2012 | Staff
  • NASA says there is NO life on Mars: Curiosity rover hasn’t discovered any clues…

    09/21/2013 9:39:50 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 11:18 EST, 21 September 2013 | Martin Robinson
    After a year roaming the surface of Mars, NASA has failed to find any evidence that its atmosphere is supporting life, it was revealed today. The Curiosity rover currently scanning the Red Planet has not detected any methane, a gas that is produced by living things. Since landing in Gale Crater last year, every morning and evening the car-size probe has analyzed Mars’ air and scanned it with a tiny laser in search of the greenhouse gas. Not finding it means that it is unlikely that microbes capable of producing the gas are living below the planet’s surface, scientists said...
  • Moon Dance: Curiosity Rover Captures Movie of Phobos and Deimos Together

    08/15/2013 3:31:44 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 15, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    Sol 351 for the Curiosity rover on Mars was a marvelous night for a moon dance. The Mars Science Laboratory rover caught sight of Mars’ two moons, Phobos and Deimos together in the sky. And not just one image was captured: the rover’s Mast Camera captured a series of 41 images to allow the MSL team to create this timelapse movie of the dance, where the smaller moon Diemos is occulted by Phobos. To our knowledge, this the first time the two moons have been seen together in any image from the surface of Mars, let alone this sequence of...
  • Curiosity Rover Views Phobos Passing in Front of Deimos (Video)

    08/17/2013 12:47:00 PM PDT · by lbryce · 15 replies
    Science Daily ^ | Auggust 16, 2013 | Staff
    Direct Link To VideoYouTube:Curiosity Rover Views Phobos Passing in Front of DeimosThis sped-up movie from the Curiosity rover shows Phobos (the larger of Mars’ two moons) passing in front of smaller Deimos. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ. Pasadena, California — The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passes directly in front of the other, Deimos, in a new series of sky-watching images from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Large craters on Phobos are clearly visible in these images from the surface of Mars. No previous images from missions on the surface caught one moon eclipsing the other....
  • Curiosity Captures ‘Phobos Rising’ Movie and Sun Setting on Mars

    07/02/2013 5:26:01 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 3, 2013 | Ken Kremer on
    Every once in a while when the time is just right and no one is looking, Curiosity’s Earthly handlers allow her some night time Martian delights. In this case a pair of rising and setting celestial events bookend another magnificent week in humankinds exploration of the Red Planet – courtesy of NASA. This past week NASA’s Curiosity rover captured esthetically stunning imagery of Phobos rising and Our Sun setting on Mars.
  • Wow! Mars Rover Captures Stunning Billion-Pixel Photo of Red Planet (Inteactive, Zoomable)

    06/27/2013 3:16:19 PM PDT · by lbryce · 22 replies
    Space.com ^ | June 19, 2013 | Mike Wall
    Wow! Mars Rover Captures Interactive Zoomable Stunning Billion-Pixel Photo of Red Planet A new 1.3-billion-pixel image from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity allows viewers to zoom in and investigate part of the Red Planet in incredible detail. The huge mosaic stitches together nearly 900 photos that the Curiosity rover took with some of its 17 cameras during the robot's exploration of Gale Crater on Mars, NASA officials said. "It gives a sense of place and really shows off the cameras' capabilities," Bob Deen, of the Multi-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement....
  • Curiosity Reaches Out with Martian Handshake and Contemplates New Drilling

    05/11/2013 11:58:44 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    universetoday.com/ ^ | May 11, 2013 | by Ken Kremer on
    NASA’s Curiosity rover has reached out in a Martian ‘handshake’ like gesture welcoming the end of solar conjunction that marks the resumption of contact with her handlers back on Earth – evidenced in a new photo mosaic of images captured as the robot and her human handlers contemplate a short traverse to a 2nd drilling target in the next few days. “We’ll move a small bit and then drill another hole,” said John Grotzinger to Universe Today. Grotzinger, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., leads NASA’s Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory mission.
  • NASA Pauses Mars Missions To Avoid Interference

    04/04/2013 5:52:37 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    infrmationweek ^ | April 04, 2013 02:00 PM | J. Nicholas Hoover
    In an effort to avoid problems caused by interference, NASA will temporarily limit scientific observations by its Mars rovers and orbiters beginning Thursday as the Red Planet passes behind the sun as seen from Earth. The sun will appear between Earth and Mars throughout the month of April in a setup known as a Mars solar conjunction, which can interfere with communications between the two planets. Specifically, during these solar conjunctions, solar flares and charged particles being emitted from the sun can disrupt radio communications, and thus could interfere with the stream of data being sent back and forth to...
  • Panorama From NASA Mars Rover Shows Mount Sharp

    03/17/2013 1:16:22 AM PDT · by lbryce · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | March 15, 2013 | Staff
    Rising above the present location of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, higher than any mountain in the 48 contiguous states of the United States, Mount Sharp is featured in new imagery from the rover. > A pair of mosaics assembled from dozens of telephoto images shows Mount Sharp in dramatic detail. The component images were taken by the 100-millimeter-focal-length telephoto lens camera mounted on the right side of Curiosity's remote sensing mast, during the 45th Martian day of the rover's mission on Mars (Sept. 20, 2012). This layered mound, also called Aeolis Mons, in the center of Gale Crater rises more...
  • Curiosity Rover discovers conditions suited for ancient life on Mars

    03/12/2013 1:44:23 PM PDT · by Steely Tom · 41 replies
    CNet ^ | 12 March 2013 | Charles Cooper
    NASA is reporting that an analysis of a rock powder sample collected by the Curiosity rover suggests that ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. The sample contained traces of sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon -- key chemical ingredients for life. For astronomers, the news constitutes the latest clue in their pursuit of a scientific holy grail: Answering the big question about whether life ever existed on the Red Planet. Their challenge until now has been to confirm whether the Martian atmosphere could have supported a habitable environment. The preliminary evidence now suggests the answer is yes...
  • Computer Swp on Curiosity Rover

    03/01/2013 8:23:20 PM PST · by dr_lew · 9 replies
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory ^ | 2/28/2013 | JPL
    PASADENA, Calif. - The ground team for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has switched the rover to a redundant onboard computer in response to a memory issue on the computer that had been active. The intentional swap at about 2:30 a.m. PST today (Thursday, Feb. 28) put the rover, as anticipated, into a minimal-activity precautionary status called "safe mode." The team is shifting the rover from safe mode to operational status over the next few days and is troubleshooting the condition that affected operations yesterday. The condition is related to a glitch in flash memory linked to the other, now-inactive, computer.
  • Of more than passing Curiosity

    02/23/2013 8:01:25 PM PST · by UCANSEE2 · 44 replies
    I found a link to this INTERACTIVE VIEW of the Curiosity Rover on Mars on the ASTRONOMY PICTURE OF THE DAY ARCHIVE. It is one of the most amazing uses of this technology I have seen. It is like standing beside the Rover on Mars and using a pair of binoculars. Give it a try. It is really fun.
  • Mars rover finally looks set to drill

    01/05/2013 7:36:12 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    bbc ^ | 4 January 2013 Last updated at 13:10 ET | Jonathan Amos
    All of Curiosity's instruments have been commissioned. The drill is the only tool that has yet to be deployed. Its hammer action will enable the device to retrieve powdered samples from up to 5cm inside the rock, which can then passed to the rover's onboard laboratories for analysis. As Curiosity trundled through Yellowknife Bay in December, it used its survey instruments to try to identify the most promising candidate rock. This equipment comprises the mast-mounted colour cameras and laser spectrometer, and the arm-held "hand lens" camera and X-ray spectrometer. Continue reading the main story Take a trip to Mars Explore...
  • Curiosity set to weigh in on Mars methane puzzle

    11/02/2012 12:03:25 AM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 01 November 2012 | Eric Hand
    After years of debate, a mystery with implications for life gets the 'sniff' test. Is there methane on Mars? The question has dogged scientists since 1969, when George Pimentel at the University of California, Berkeley, an instrument leader on NASA's Mariner 7 programme, held a press conference to announce that methane had been detected near Mars’ south polar cap. The revelation came less than 48 hours after his team received the data it was based on; he retracted the finding a month later after realizing that the methane signal was actually coming from carbon dioxide ice. It is easy to...
  • First Scoopful [Martian Soil] a Success [For "Curiosity'}

    10/08/2012 3:49:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    nasa ^ | Mon, 08 Oct 2012 07:52:13 AM PDT
    On the mission's 61st Martian day, or sol (Oct. 7, 2012), NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its soil scoop for the first time, collecting a scoopful of sand and powdery material at the "Rocknest" site. Imaging verified collection of the sample. The collected material will be used for cleaning interior surfaces of the rover's sample-handling mechanism. It will be held and vibrated inside each chamber of the mechanism before the material is discarded. Curiosity's Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) device, on the robotic arm, includes the scoop and the mechanism for sieving and portioning samples of...
  • Mars rover Curiosity finds signs of ancient stream

    09/28/2012 8:44:35 AM PDT · by Evil Slayer · 27 replies
    yahoo.com ^ | 9/28/12 | ALICIA CHANG | Associated Press
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NASA rover Curiosity has beamed back pictures of bedrock that suggest a fast-moving stream, possibly waist-deep, once flowed on Mars — a find that the mission's chief scientist called exciting.
  • A Solar Eclipse - From Mars!!

    09/16/2012 3:25:30 PM PDT · by djf · 26 replies
    Truly cool! Mars Curiosity rover snapped a bunch of pics while Phobos eclipsed the sun! Youtube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHDH7cKX_SA&feature=player_embedded
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity on the Move

    09/10/2012 2:31:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 10, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Curiosity is on the move across Mars -- but where is it going? The car-sized rover's path after 29 Martian days on the surface is shown on the above map. Curiosity is still almost 300 meters from its first major destination, though, a meeting of different types of terrain called Glenelg and visible on the image right. It may take Curiosity two months or so to get to Glenelg as it stops to inspect interesting rocks or landscape features along the way. The above image was taken about one week ago from high up by the HiRise camera onboard...
  • Wheels and a Destination

    09/10/2012 8:45:43 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 2 replies
    JPL/CalTech ^ | 9-9-2012 | JPL/CalTech
    Wheels and a Destination This view of the three left wheels of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines two images that were taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 34th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 9, 2012). In the distance is the lower slope of Mount Sharp. The camera is located in the turret of tools at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The Sol 34 imaging by MAHLI was part of a week-long set of activities for characterizing the movement of the arm in Mars conditions. The main purpose of Curiosity's...
  • Scientists fear Curiosity rover drill bits could contaminate Mars

    09/10/2012 8:07:04 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 52 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | 9-10-2012 | Louis Sahagun
    For all the hopes NASA has pinned on the rover it deposited on Mars last month, one wish has gone unspoken: Please don’t find water. Scientists don’t believe they will. They chose the cold, dry equatorial landing site in Mars’ Gale Crater for its geology, not its prospects for harboring water or ice, which exist elsewhere on the planet. But if by chance the rover Curiosity does find water, a controversy that has simmered at NASA for nearly a year will burst into the open. Curiosity’s drill bits may be contaminated with Earth microbes. If they are, and if those...
  • Footage of Curiosity’s Descent onto Mars Interpolated to 25 Frames per Second

    08/27/2012 5:30:44 PM PDT · by SWAMPSNIPER · 40 replies
    PETAPIXEL ^ | August 27, 2012 | Michael Zhang
    NASA’s Curiosity Rover snapped photographs at 5 frames per second as it descended onto the face of Mars a few weeks ago. The footage that results when the images are combined into a 15 frame per second HD video is pretty amazing, but apparently not amazing enough for a YouTube user named hahahaspam. He spent four straight days taking the 5 fps footage and interpolating it to 25 frames per second. This means that instead of a video showing the choppy landing at 3 times the actual speed, his video shows the landing smoothly and in real time!
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity on Mars: Mt. Sharp in View

    08/27/2012 3:31:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    NASA ^ | August 27, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that on the horizon? The light peak is Mt. Sharp -- an eventual destination of the Curiosity rover. The above image mosaic was taken from Bradbury Landing, the landing spot of Curiosity, and shows in the foreground the rover's extended robotic arm. Curiosity's is already on the move crossing the intermediate gravel field toward an interesting terrain feature named Glenelg. Curiosity has also already started analyzing its surroundings by zapping a nearby rock with its laser to analyze the chemical composition of the resulting gas plume. If life ever existed on Mars it might well have been here...
  • First full HD video of Curiosity descent.

    08/23/2012 1:36:34 PM PDT · by servo1969 · 16 replies
    Wimp.com ^ | 8-23-2012 | JPL/NASA
    http://www.wimp.com/curiositydescent/
  • She Roves! Curiosity Hits the Martian Road: Big Pics

    08/23/2012 1:19:26 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 3 replies
    Discovery Channel ^ | August 22, 2012 | Irene Klotz
    NASA's new Mars probe lived up to its billing as a rover on Wednesday with a successful first test drive, its first motion since settling down inside an ancient impact basin on Aug. 6. "We built a rover, so unless the rover roves, we really haven’t accomplished anything," project manager Pete Theisinger, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told reporters during a press conference Wednesday. "It's a big moment, a very big moment."
  • Mars Curiosity rover moves, finds broken sensor

    08/22/2012 8:02:26 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 22 replies
    LA Times ^ | 22 Aug 2012 | Amina Khan
    Curiosity has stretched its neck, flexed its arm and wiggled its toes – and it’s set to make its first drive on Mars after engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory send it instructions tonight. But in its self-examination, the Mars Science Laboratory has found more than a small bruise on its one-ton body. Curiosity has been testing its cameras, laser and other functions since landing on the Red Planet on Aug. 5. NASA officials announced Monday that the rover had successfully unfolded its arm. The robotic arm holds what mission manager Michael Watkins called a veritable “Swiss army knife” of tools...
  • Mars rover Curiosity makes first test drive

    08/22/2012 10:49:07 AM PDT · by jb729 · 35 replies
    AP / Terra.Com ^ | 8/22/12 | Alicia Chang
    The NASA rover Curiosity has taken its first test drive on Mars. Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer Allen Chen on Wednesday tweeted an image of marks left in the soil and declared, "Wheel tracks on Mars." Details of the brief drive are expected to be released at a late-morning news conference. The rover was expected to move forward 10 feet, turn right and back-track close to where it started. Curiosity touched down near the Martian equator earlier this month on a $2.5 billion mission. Scientists plan to drive it to the base of a mountain where it will drill into rocks...
  • NASA Flight Director, His Family Switch Over To ‘Mars Time’ After Curiosity Landing

    08/19/2012 6:03:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    AP) ^ | August 19, 2012 12:06 PM
    Since the landing of NASA’s newest Mars rover, flight director David Oh’s family has taken the unusual step of tagging along as he leaves Earth time behind and syncs his body clock with the red planet. Every mission to Mars, a small army of scientists and engineers reports to duty on “Mars time” for the first three months. But it’s almost unheard of for an entire family to flip their orderly lives upside down, shifting to what amounts to a time zone change a day. Intrigued about abiding by extraterrestrial time, Oh’s wife, Bryn, could not pass up the chance...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity on Mars: Still Life with Rover

    08/17/2012 10:47:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | August 18, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What does the Curiosity rover look like on Mars? To help find out, NASA engineers digitally synthesized multiple navigation camera images taken last week into what appears to be the view of a single camera. Besides clods of Martian dirt, many of Curiosity's science instruments are visible and appear in good shape. Near the middle of the rover is an augmented reality tag intended to enable smartphones to provide background information. Far in the distance is a wall of Gale Crater. As Curiosity will begin to roll soon, its first destination has now been chosen: an intriguing intersection of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity on Mars: A Wall of Gale Crater

    08/15/2012 3:59:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | August 15, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you could stand on Mars, what would you see? The above image is a digitally re-colored approximation of what you might see if the above Martian landscape had occurred on Earth. Images from Mars false-colored in this way are called white balanced and useful for planetary scientists to identify rocks and landforms similar to Earth. The image is a high resolution version of a distant wall of Gale Crater captured by the Curiosity rover that landed on Mars last week. A corresponding true color image exists showing how this scene actually appears on Mars. The robotic Curiosity rover...
  • A 360-Degree ‘Street View’ From Mars:Awesome 360 Degree Images of Mars Taken by 'Curiosity'

    08/15/2012 3:21:53 AM PDT · by lbryce · 18 replies
    Universe Today ^ | August 15, 2012 | John Williams
    After seeing all the amazing imagery so far from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, I know everyone wants to go there and take in the visual treats of Gale Crater. With the help of a 360-degree panorama you can virtually explore Curiosity’s landing site; sort of like a Martian version of Google’s Street View. Take a martian minute to explore the panorama at www.360pano.eu/mars Photographer Andrew Bodrov stitched together images from Curiosity’s navigation cameras to create the panorama. “After seeing some of the stitches of Curiosity’s images at NASA’s website, I decided to stitch the panorama myself,” Bodrov told Universe...
  • NASA says Mars mountain will read like 'a great novel'

    07/22/2011 1:15:12 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 45 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 7/22/11 | Kerry Sheridan - AFP
    The US space agency's unmanned Curiosity rover will explore a mountain on Mars that should read like "a great novel," revealing if signs of life ever existed on the red planet, NASA said Friday. The landing site for the 2.5 billion dollar Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) was unveiled the day after the 30-year shuttle era ended with the return to Earth of Atlantis after its final mission to the International Space Station. Clues sent home from Mars are important to NASA as it aims to build a spaceship capable of toting humans there by 2030, while private companies race to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The First Color Panorama from Mars by Curiosity

    08/11/2012 2:09:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 38 replies
    NASA ^ | August 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: You've just landed on Mars and opened your eyes -- what do you see? If you're the Curiosity rover, you see a strange gravelly place with a large mountain in the distance. You've landed on target near the edge of 150-km wide Gale Crater, with Mount Sharp on the horizon being the rise in the crater's center. As a car-sized rover with six wheels and a laser, you prepare yourself to go on a two-year mission of exploration, climbing Mt. Sharp, and looking for signs that Mars once harbored life. Currently you sit motionless, check yourself over, and receive...
  • NASA’s new lander CRASHES AND BURNS--Curiosity’s potential sucessor, Morpheus, explodes ...

    08/10/2012 9:26:18 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 25 replies
    The Register ^ | 10th August 2012 00:43 GMT | By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor
    Curiosity’s potential sucessor, Morpheus, explodes after hardware failure Vid NASA’s prototype landing craft of the future, Morpheus, has crashed and burned in its latest launch test. Morpheus is designed to become a general-purpose lander capable of setting down payloads wherever NASA wants them. The Moon, Mars and even asteroids are mentioned in its design brief. The craft has undergone several tests when suspended on a tether beneath a crane while its engines get a workout. Those tests have gone well, but a new test of the lander flying all by itself went rather badly, as can be seen in the...
  • Curiosity rover tags Mars with Morse tire tracks

    08/09/2012 8:16:42 PM PDT · by Bobalu · 16 replies
    slashgear.com ^ | Aug 6th 2012 | Chris Davies
    NASA’s Curiosity rover may not look like an urban menace, but the robot explorer will in fact be steadily tagging the Martian surface as it trundles, leaving a name-check of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory back home. The clandestine graffiti is thanks to part of the rover’s visual odometry system, John Graham-Cumming points out, which tracks the marks left by a series of asymmetrically arranged holes in the wheels. The position of those holes, however, isn’t random: in fact, it’s Morse Code.
  • The conspiracy theories begin: What was the mystery blotch that appears on Mars rover photo ...

    08/09/2012 11:28:06 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 47 replies
    Daily Mail UK ^ | 08-09-2012 | James Nye
    Conspiracy theorists have worked themselves up into a lather over a mysterious blotch visible in the first black and white photographs taken from NASA's new Curiosity rover as it landed on Mars. The faint but distinctive dot which can be seen on the horizon of the Red Planet was taken by a device on the $2.5 billion robot called its Hazcam and relayed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter back to Earth. However, two hours later when the satellite made another pass over Curiosity, the rover sent another batch of images that revealed that the blotch had eerily disappeared.
  • NASA Prepares Next Mars Rover for November Launch

    08/15/2011 12:52:42 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 14 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | August 13, 2011 | Robert Z. Pearlman
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's next Mars rover, the car-size Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is almost ready to fly to the Red Planet. Beginning tomorrow (Aug. 13), technicians at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will begin folding up the six-wheeled, nuclear-powered rover to pack it inside its heat shield. Targeted to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral on the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25), Curiosity was shown off to the media on Friday inside the clean room where it has been undergoing final tests and preparations for its journey to Mars. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Wheel on Mars

    08/07/2012 2:31:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    NASA ^ | August 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A wheel attached to NASA's Curiosity rover is firmly on the martian surface in this early picture from the Mars Science Laboratory mission, captured after a successful landing on August 5, 2012 at 10:32pm (PDT). Seen at the lower right of a Hazard Avoidance Camera fisheye wide-angle image, the rover's left rear wheel is 50 centimeters (about 20 inches) in diameter. Part of a spring hinge for the camera's dust cover is just visible in the right corner, while at the upper left is part of the rover's RTG power source. Looking into the Sun across the rock stewn...
  • Curiosity's Descent last 2.5 min + Heat shield separation (Stop motion video)

    08/06/2012 10:06:59 PM PDT · by dragnet2 · 11 replies
    The Curiosity Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) captured the rover's descent to the surface of the Red Planet. The instrument shot 4 fps video from heatshield separation to the ground.
  • A Curiousity! Girl, 15, Named Mars Rover Years Ago

    08/05/2012 8:23:23 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    CBSLA.com) ^ | August 4, 2012 10:55 PM | Rachel Kim,
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — For the past eight months, scientists have been anxiously watching Curiosity barrel closer and closer to the red planet. Were you ever curious how the Mars landing rover got it’s name? We were. Rachel Kim, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, found the person who named the $2.5 billion project and one-ton roving lab, and it was someone most unlikely. “I’m 15 and I’ll be a sophomore,” says Clara Ma. Yup. Her. Ma, from Kansas, tells Kim as a 6th grader sitting in science class, she loved to ask questions. You could say she was always a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Before Mars: Seven Minutes of Terror

    07/31/2012 4:57:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    NASA ^ | July 31, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Next week at this time, there may be an amazing new robotic explorer on Mars. Or there may be a new pile of junk. It all likely depends on many things going correctly in the minutes after the Mars Science Laboratory mission arrives at Mars and attempts to deploy the Curiosity rover from orbit. Arguably the most sophisticated landing yet attempted on the red planet, consecutive precision events will involve a heat shield, a parachute, several rocket maneuvers, and the automatic operation of an unusual device called a Sky Crane. These "Seven Minutes of Terror" -- depicted in the...
  • Griffith Observatory To Celebrate ‘Curiosity’ Rover Landing On Mars

    08/02/2012 12:36:48 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    CBSLA.com) ^ | August 2, 2012 10:30 AM
    PASADENA {california} (CBSLA.com) — You may not be able to make the trip to the Red Planet with NASA’s “Curiosity” rover, but Griffith Observatory is offering the next best thing. Beginning Thursday, the Observatory will host three events open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with a special screening of Triumph of the Dream, a documentary that explores the human face of the Mars Exploration Program that landed two rovers on Mars in 2004. Immediately following the screening, filmmaker Norman Seeff will provide insight and commentary in a discussion with Griffith Observatory Curator, Dr. Laura Danly. On...
  • Ustream Mars Curiosity broadcast numbers beat primetime CNN, company says (Media Death Watch)

    08/08/2012 1:14:28 PM PDT · by tennmountainman · 8 replies
    The Verge.com ^ | 8-8-2012 | Adi Robertson
    The live stream of NASA's Curiosity rover landing garnered more interest than primetime Sunday television, Ustream says. A spokesperson told Mashable that 3.2 million people in total had checked the stream at some point during the landing, with a peak of 500,000 people watching at the same time. That's higher than the estimated viewing numbers for CNN during Sunday primetime, which came in at 426,000, or MSNBC, which had an audience of 365,000 viewers over age two. Ustream's peak audience was lower only than that of Fox, which had an audience of 803,000.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Nocturnal: Scenes from the Southern Night

    08/06/2012 6:19:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 06, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever seen the night sky change? It does -- sometimes in beautiful and unexpected ways. To see it, though, usually requires patience. The above award winning video shows several of the possible changes in dramatic fashion with a time lapse video. Visible are sunset-illuminated clouds moving, stars of vivid colors rising, the long tail of a Comet Lovejoy rising, bright satellites crossing, a meteor exploding, a distant lightning storm approaching, skyscapes including the Magellanic Clouds rotating, and a fisheye sky rotating while the foreground becomes illuminated by moonlight. Frequently featuring an artistic human sculpture in the foreground...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Drops In

    08/08/2012 6:32:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | August 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Just as it captured the Phoenix lander parachuting to Mars in 2008, the HiRise camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) snapped this picture of the Curiosity rover's spectacular descent toward its landing site on August 5 (PDT). The nearly 16 meter (51 foot) wide parachute and its payload are caught dropping through the thin martian atmosphere above plains just north of the sand dune field that that borders the 5 kilometer high Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. The MRO spacecraft was about 340 kilometers away when the image was made. From MRO's perspective the parachute is flying at...
  • Mars HD Panoramic

    08/08/2012 12:50:20 PM PDT · by SMCC1 · 44 replies
    panoramas.dk ^ | 8/12/2012 | curiosity
    http://www.panoramas.dk/mars/greeley-haven.html
  • Curiosity Has Landed

    08/07/2012 10:04:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 August 2012 | Richard A. Kerr
    Enlarge Image On the ground. One of the first images snapped by Curiosity, sent within minutes after it touched down, shows the rover's own shadow. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech It all worked. The 500,000 lines of computer code went off without a glitch. The 76 onboard explosive devices popped off in sequence to the microsecond, throwing valves and cutting loose tether lines. So Curiosity rover's 7 minutes of terror had the happiest of endings. At 1:37 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, word came down: "Touchdown confirmed. We're safe on Mars." Signals from Curiosity, followed within minutes by the first crude images of...
  • Mars Rover Already Doing Science

    08/07/2012 9:53:04 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 August 2012 | Richard A. Kerr
    Not smashing itself to smithereens was only one of Curiosity’s achievements in the NASA rover’s first day on Mars. It also hit the bull’s-eye and did a first bit of science. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Curiosity on its Way. From 340 kilometers away, the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught the Curiosity rover inside its entry vehicle dangling from its parachute. The chute had been ejected from the entry vehicle by an explosive charge after atmospheric drag had slowed it to Mach 2. The descent vehicle with the rover tucked inside would soon drop out to fire its retrorockets. Credit:...
  • Mars Curiosity - Latest Images

    08/07/2012 10:38:08 AM PDT · by dragnet2 · 95 replies
    NASA/JPL ^ | 8/7/2012 | http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/PIA15986.html
    This image taken by NASA's Curiosity shows what lies ahead for the rover -- its main science target, Mount Sharp. The rover's shadow can be seen in the foreground, and the dark bands beyond are dunes. Rising up in the distance is the highest peak Mount Sharp at a height of about 3.4 miles, taller than Mt. Whitney in California. The Curiosity team hopes to drive the rover to the mountain to investigate its lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change. This image was captured by the rover's front left Hazard-Avoidance camera at full resolution...