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Mars Rover/Mission Thread: Following Our Curiosity


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#571 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:02 PM

How long does it take radio signals to travel to Curiosity and back to Earth?


Radio waves are a form of light. So they travel at the speed of light, 299,792,458 m/s. The average distance between earth and mars is 225 million km

Distance ÷ Speed = Time
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

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#572 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

Preparatory Drill Test Performed on Mars
02.07.13


Posted Image In an activity called the "mini drill test," NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its drill to generate this ring of powdered rock for inspection in advance of the rover's first full drilling. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


Posted Image A blink pair of images taken before and after Curiosity performed a "mini drill" test on a Martian rock shows changes resulting from that activity. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption

Posted Image After an activity called the "mini drill test" by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera recorded this close-up view of the results during the 180th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Feb. 6, 2013). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption


PASADENA, Calif. - The drill on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used both percussion and rotation to bore about 0.8 inch (2 centimeters) into a rock on Mars and generate cuttings for evaluation in advance of the rover's first sample-collection drilling.
Completion of this "mini drill" test in preparation for full drilling was confirmed in data from Mars received late Wednesday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. If the drill cuttings on the ground around the fresh hole pass visual evaluation as suitable for processing by the rover's sample handling mechanisms, the rover team plans to proceed with commanding the first full drilling in coming days.
An image of the hole and surrounding cuttings produced by the mini drill test is online at http://www.nasa.gov/...a/pia16760.html .
The test was performed on a patch of flat, vein-bearing rock called "John Klein." The locations of earlier percussion-only testing and planned sample-collection drilling are also on John Klein. Pre-drilling observations of this rock yielded indications of one or more episodes of wet environmental conditions. The team plans to use Curiosity's laboratory instruments to analyze sample powder from inside the rock to learn more about the site's environmental history.
The planned full drilling will be the first rock drilling on Mars to collect a sample of material for analysis.
During a two-year prime mission, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 science instruments to assess whether the study area in Gale Crater on Mars ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

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#573 nucklehead

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 07:51 AM

Radio waves are a form of light. So they travel at the speed of light, 299,792,458 m/s. The average distance between earth and mars is 225 million km

Distance ÷ Speed = Time

OK, thanks. I just asked because I thought I remembered there being quite a lag for the signal returning from the moon back in 69. Seems like they told us it took so long for the signal to return from the moon. Then there are lags in satelite transmissions around the globe. I'm watching the video simulation for Curiosity and notice that it stops on and zooms in on a distant target. So the remote control has to be nearly instantaeous. Is this reallistic?
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#574 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:47 PM

OK, thanks. I just asked because I thought I remembered there being quite a lag for the signal returning from the moon back in 69. Seems like they told us it took so long for the signal to return from the moon. Then there are lags in satelite transmissions around the globe. I'm watching the video simulation for Curiosity and notice that it stops on and zooms in on a distant target. So the remote control has to be nearly instantaeous. Is this reallistic?


Bloody good question, and unfortunately i do not have an answer .
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#575 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:48 PM

NASA Curiosity Rover Collects First Martian Bedrock Sample
02.09.13


Posted Image At the center of this image from NASA's Curiosity rover is the hole in a rock called "John Klein" where the rover conducted its first sample drilling on Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption › See drilling animation

Posted Image An animated set of three images from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the rover's drill in action on Feb. 8, 2013, or Sol 182, Curiosity's 182nd Martian day of operations. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption

Posted Image NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to take the images combined into this mosaic of the drill area, called "John Klein." Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect a sample from its interior. This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock to collect a sample on Mars.
The fresh hole, about 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) deep in a patch of fine-grained sedimentary bedrock, can be seen in images and other data Curiosity beamed to Earth Saturday. The rock is believed to hold evidence about long-gone wet environments. In pursuit of that evidence, the rover will use its laboratory instruments to analyze rock powder collected by the drill.
"The most advanced planetary robot ever designed is now a fully operating analytical laboratory on Mars," said John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. "This is the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August, another proud day for America."
For the next several days, ground controllers will command the rover's arm to carry out a series of steps to process the sample, ultimately delivering portions to the instruments inside.
"We commanded the first full-depth drilling, and we believe we have collected sufficient material from the rock to meet our objectives of hardware cleaning and sample drop-off," said Avi Okon, drill cognizant engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Rock powder generated during drilling travels up flutes on the bit. The bit assembly has chambers to hold the powder until it can be transferred to the sample-handling mechanisms of the rover's Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) device.
Before the rock powder is analyzed, some will be used to scour traces of material that may have been deposited onto the hardware while the rover was still on Earth, despite thorough cleaning before launch.
"We'll take the powder we acquired and swish it around to scrub the internal surfaces of the drill bit assembly," said JPL's Scott McCloskey, drill systems engineer. "Then we'll use the arm to transfer the powder out of the drill into the scoop, which will be our first chance to see the acquired sample."
"Building a tool to interact forcefully with unpredictable rocks on Mars required an ambitious development and testing program," said JPL's Louise Jandura, chief engineer for Curiosity's sample system. "To get to the point of making this hole in a rock on Mars, we made eight drills and bored more than 1,200 holes in 20 types of rock on Earth."
Inside the sample-handling device, the powder will be vibrated once or twice over a sieve that screens out any particles larger than six-thousandths of an inch (150 microns) across. Small portions of the sieved sample will fall through ports on the rover deck into the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. These instruments then will begin the much-anticipated detailed analysis.
The rock Curiosity drilled is called "John Klein" in memory of a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011. Drilling for a sample is the last new activity for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project, which is using the car-size Curiosity rover to investigate whether an area within Mars' Gale Crater has ever offered an environment favorable for life.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#576 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:50 AM

Mars Rock Takes Unusual Form
02.11.13

Posted Image

A shiny-looking Martian rock is visible in this image taken by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) during the mission's 173rd Martian day, or sol (Jan. 30, 2013). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems › Larger view


On Mars, as on Earth, sometimes things can take on an unusual appearance. A case in point is a shiny-looking rock seen in a recent image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.
Some casual observers might see a resemblance to a car door handle, hood ornament or some other type of metallic object. To Ronald Sletten of the University of Washington, Seattle, a collaborator on Curiosity's science team, the object is an interesting study in how wind and the natural elements cause erosion and other effects on various types of rocks.
Find out what likely caused the shiny appearance of the Martian rock, and see some examples of similar phenomena found on Earth.A PDF of the images and explanatory text is available at: http://www.jpl.nasa..../ventifacts.pdf .

Posted Image


Curiosity Rover's Self Portrait...

This rectangular version of a self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI)...

Edited by The Ratiocinator, 13 February 2013 - 04:52 AM.

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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#577 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:20 AM

NASA Rover Confirms First Drilled Mars Rock Sample
02.20.13


Posted Image This image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS › Full image and caption › Latest images › Gallery › Videos

Posted Image This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows details of rock texture and color in an area where the rover's Dust Removal Tool (DRT) brushed away dust that was on the rock. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Honeybee Robotics/LANL/CNES
› Full image and caption

Posted Image This full-resolution image from NASA's Curiosity shows the turret of tools at the end of the rover's extended robotic arm on Aug. 20, 2012. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
› Full image and caption

Posted Image This image shows the location of the 150-micrometer sieve screen on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, a device used to remove larger particles from samples before delivery to science instruments. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has relayed new images that confirm it has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. No rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth and collected a sample from its interior.
Transfer of the powdered-rock sample into an open scoop was visible for the first time in images received Wednesday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
"Seeing the powder from the drill in the scoop allows us to verify for the first time the drill collected a sample as it bore into the rock," said JPL's Scott McCloskey, drill systems engineer for Curiosity. "Many of us have been working toward this day for years. Getting final confirmation of successful drilling is incredibly gratifying. For the sampling team, this is the equivalent of the landing team going crazy after the successful touchdown."
The drill on Curiosity's robotic arm took in the powder as it bored a 2.5-inch (6.4-centimeter) hole into a target on flat Martian bedrock on Feb. 8. The rover team plans to have Curiosity sieve the sample and deliver portions of it to analytical instruments inside the rover.
The scoop now holding the precious sample is part of Curiosity's Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) device. During the next steps of processing, the powder will be enclosed inside CHIMRA and shaken once or twice over a sieve that screens out particles larger than 0.006 inch (150 microns) across.
Small portions of the sieved sample later will be delivered through inlet ports on top of the rover deck into the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument.
In response to information gained during testing at JPL, the processing and delivery plan has been adjusted to reduce use of mechanical vibration. The 150-micron screen in one of the two test versions of CHIMRA became partially detached after extensive use, although it remained usable. The team has added precautions for use of Curiosity's sampling system while continuing to study the cause and ramifications of the separation.
The sample comes from a fine-grained, veiny sedimentary rock called "John Klein," named in memory of a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011. The rock was selected for the first sample drilling because it may hold evidence of wet environmental conditions long ago. The rover's laboratory analysis of the powder may provide information about those conditions.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project is using the Curiosity rover with its 10 science instruments to investigate whether an area within Mars' Gale Crater ever has offered an environment favorable for microbial life. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#578 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:55 AM

http://www.nasa.gov/...ia_id=160133361
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#579 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:17 AM

NASA Rover Finds Conditions Once Suited for Ancient Life on Mars
03.12.13


Posted Image This set of images compares rocks seen by NASA's Opportunity rover and Curiosity rover at two different parts of Mars. On the left is " Wopmay" rock, in Endurance Crater, Meridiani Planum, as studied by the Opportunity rover. On the right are the rocks of the "Sheepbed" unit in Yellowknife Bay, in Gale Crater, as seen by Curiosity. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/MSSS
› Full image and caption › Latest images › Curiosity gallery › Curiosity videos

Posted Image This false-color map shows the area within Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (Aug. 6, 2012 EDT) and the location where Curiosity collected its first drilled sample at the "John Klein" rock. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption

Posted Image This side-by-side comparison shows the X-ray diffraction patterns of two different samples collected from the Martian surface by NASA's Curiosity rover. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames
› Full image and caption


PASADENA, Calif. -- An analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA's Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes.
Scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon -- some of the key chemical ingredients for life -- in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in Gale Crater on the Red Planet last month.
"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "From what we know now, the answer is yes."
Clues to this habitable environment come from data returned by the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instruments. The data indicate the Yellowknife Bay area the rover is exploring was the end of an ancient river system or an intermittently wet lake bed that could have provided chemical energy and other favorable conditions for microbes. The rock is made up of a fine-grained mudstone containing clay minerals, sulfate minerals and other chemicals. This ancient wet environment, unlike some others on Mars, was not harshly oxidizing, acidic or extremely salty.
The patch of bedrock where Curiosity drilled for its first sample lies in an ancient network of stream channels descending from the rim of Gale Crater. The bedrock also is fine-grained mudstone and shows evidence of multiple periods of wet conditions, including nodules and veins.
Curiosity's drill collected the sample at a site just a few hundred yards away from where the rover earlier found an ancient streambed in September 2012.
"Clay minerals make up at least 20 percent of the composition of this sample," said David Blake, principal investigator for the CheMin instrument at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
These clay minerals are a product of the reaction of relatively fresh water with igneous minerals, such as olivine, also present in the sediment. The reaction could have taken place within the sedimentary deposit, during transport of the sediment, or in the source region of the sediment. The presence of calcium sulfate along with the clay suggests the soil is neutral or mildly alkaline.
Scientists were surprised to find a mixture of oxidized, less-oxidized, and even non-oxidized chemicals, providing an energy gradient of the sort many microbes on Earth exploit to live. This partial oxidation was first hinted at when the drill cuttings were revealed to be gray rather than red.
"The range of chemical ingredients we have identified in the sample is impressive, and it suggests pairings such as sulfates and sulfides that indicate a possible chemical energy source for micro-organisms," said Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator of the SAM suite of instruments at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
An additional drilled sample will be used to help confirm these results for several of the trace gases analyzed by the SAM instrument.
"We have characterized a very ancient, but strangely new 'gray Mars' where conditions once were favorable for life," said John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. "Curiosity is on a mission of discovery and exploration, and as a team we feel there are many more exciting discoveries ahead of us in the months and years to come."
Scientists plan to work with Curiosity in the "Yellowknife Bay" area for many more weeks before beginning a long drive to Gale Crater's central mound, Mount Sharp. Investigating the stack of layers exposed on Mount Sharp, where clay minerals and sulfate minerals have been identified from orbit, may add information about the duration and diversity of habitable conditions.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project has been using Curiosity to investigate whether an area within Mars' Gale Crater ever has offered an environment favorable for microbial life. Curiosity, carrying 10 science instruments, landed seven months ago to begin its two-year prime mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#580 Mr.Habitat

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

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#581 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:55 AM

Posted Image

Mount Sharp Panorama in White-Balanced Colors

This mosaic of images from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows Mount Sharp in a white-balanced color adjustment that makes the sky look overly blue but shows the terrain as if under Earth-like lighting. White-balancing helps scientists recognize rock materials based on their experience looking at rocks on Earth. The Martian sky would look more of a butterscotch color to the human eye. White balancing yields an overly blue hue in images that have very little blue information, such as Martian landscapes, because the white balancing tends to overcompensate for the low inherent blue content.

Mount Sharp, also called Aeolis Mons, is a layered mound in the center of Mars' Gale Crater, rising more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor, where Curiosity has been working since the rover's landing in August 2012. Lower slopes of Mount Sharp are the major destination for the mission, though the rover will first spend many more weeks around a location called "Yellowknife Bay," where it has found evidence of a past environment favorable for microbial life.

This mosaic was assembled from dozens of images from the 100-millimeter-focal-length telephoto lens camera mounted on the right side of the Mastcam instrument. The component images were taken during the 45th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's mission on Mars (Sept. 20, 2012). The sky has been filled out by extrapolating color and brightness information from the portions of the sky that were captured in images of the terrain.

A raw-color version of the mosaic is available at http://photojournal....atalog/PIA16769. Raw color shows the scene's colors as they would look in a typical smart-phone camera photo

Panorama From NASA Mars Rover Shows Mount Sharp
03.15.13


Posted Image This mosaic of images from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows Mount Sharp in a white-balanced color adjustment that makes the sky look overly blue but shows the terrain as if under Earth-like lighting. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption › Curiosity gallery › Curiosity videos

Posted Image This mosaic of images from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows Mount Sharp in raw color as recorded by the camera. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
› Full image and caption


PASADENA, Calif. -- 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 than 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor location of Curiosity. Lower slopes of Mount Sharp remain a destination for the mission, though the rover will first spend many more weeks around a location called "Yellowknife Bay," where it has found evidence of a past environment favorable for microbial life.
A version of the mosaic that has been white-balanced to show the terrain as if under Earthlike lighting, which makes the sky look overly blue, is at http://photojournal....atalog/PIA16768 . White-balanced versions help scientists recognize rock materials based on their terrestrial experience. The Martian sky would look like more of a butterscotch color to the human eye. A version of the mosaic with raw color, as a typical smart-phone camera would show the scene, is at http://photojournal....atalog/PIA16769 . The white-balanced and raw images are both available with pan and zoom functionality on GigaPan at http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/125627 and http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/125628, respectively.
In both versions, the sky has been filled out by extrapolating color and brightness information from the portions of the sky that were captured in images of the terrain.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#582 Hobble

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:23 PM

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#583 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 01:28 AM

Curiosity Resumes Science Investigations
03.25.13


Posted Image This view of Curiosity's left-front and left-center wheels and of marks made by wheels on the ground in the "Yellowknife Bay" area comes from one of six cameras used on Mars for the first time more than six months after the rover landed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
› Full image and caption › Latest images › Curiosity gallery › Curiosity videos


Mission status report
PASADENA, Calif. - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has resumed science investigations after recovery from a computer glitch that prompted the engineers to switch the rover to a redundant main computer on Feb. 28.
The rover has been monitoring the weather since March 21 and delivered a new portion of powdered-rock sample for laboratory analysis on March 23, among other activities.
"We are back to full science operations," said Curiosity Deputy Project Manager Jim Erickson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The powder delivered on Saturday came from the rover's first full drilling into a rock to collect a sample. The new portion went into the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument inside the rover, which began analyzing this material and had previously analyzed other portions from the same drilling. SAM can analyze samples in several different ways, so multiple portions from the same drilling are useful.
The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) is recording weather variables. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) is checking the natural radiation environment at the rover's location inside Gale Crater.
Like many spacecraft, Curiosity carries a pair of main computers, redundant to each other, to have a backup available if one fails. Each of the computers, A-side and B-side, also has other redundant subsystems linked to just that computer. Curiosity is now operating on its B-side, as it did during part of the flight from Earth to Mars. The A-side was most recently used starting a few weeks before landing and continuing until Feb. 28, when engineers commanded a switch to the B-side in response to a memory glitch on the A-side. The A-side now is available as a backup if needed.
One aspect of ramping-up activities after switching to the B-side computer has been to check the six engineering cameras that are hard-linked to that computer. The rover's science instruments, including five science cameras, can each be operated by either the A-side or B-side computer, whichever is active. However, each of Curiosity's 12 engineering cameras is linked to just one of the computers. The engineering cameras are the Navigation Camera (Navcam), the Front Hazard-Avoidance Camera (Front Hazcam) and Rear Hazard-Avoidance Camera (Rear Hazcam). Each of those three named cameras has four cameras on it: two stereo pairs of cameras, with one pair linked to each computer. Only the pairs linked to the active computer can be used, and the A-side computer was active from before landing, in August, until Feb. 28.
"This was the first use of the B-side engineering cameras since April 2012, on the way to Mars," said JPL's Justin Maki, team lead for these cameras. "Now we've used them on Mars for the first time, and they've all checked out OK."
Engineers quickly diagnosed a software issue that prompted Curiosity to put itself into a precautionary standby "safe mode" on March 16, and they know how to prevent it from happening again. The rover stayed on its B-side while it was in safe mode and subsequently as science activities resumed.
Upcoming activities include preparations for a moratorium on transmitting commands to Curiosity from April 4 to May 1, while Mars will be passing nearly directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. The moratorium is a precaution against possible interference by the sun corrupting a command sent to the rover.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project is using Curiosity and the rover's 10 science instruments to investigate the environmental history within Gale Crater, a location where the project has found that conditions were long ago favorable for microbial life. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#584 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:42 PM

NASA Curiosity Rover Team Selects Second Drilling Target on Mars05.09.13 Map shows the location of 'Cumberland' This map shows the location of "Cumberland," the second rock-drilling target for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, in relation to the rover's first drilling target, "John Klein," within the southwestern lobe of a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay." Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
Posted Image

PASADENA, Calif. -- The team operating NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days.

This second drilling target, called "Cumberland," lies about nine feet (2.75 meters) west of the rock where Curiosity's drill first touched Martian stone in February. Curiosity took the first rock sample ever collected on Mars from that rock, called "John Klein." The rover found evidence of an ancient environment favorable for microbial life. Both rocks are flat, with pale veins and a bumpy surface. They are embedded in a layer of rock on the floor of a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay."

This second drilling is intended to confirm results from the first drilling, which indicated the chemistry of the first powdered sample from John Klein was much less oxidizing than that of a soil sample the rover scooped up before it began drilling.

"We know there is some cross-contamination from the previous sample each time," said Dawn Sumner, a long-term planner for Curiosity's science team at the University of California at Davis. "For the Cumberland sample, we expect to have most of that cross-contamination come from a similar rock, rather than from very different soil."

Although Cumberland and John Klein are very similar, Cumberland appears to have more of the erosion-resistant granules that cause the surface bumps. The bumps are concretions, or clumps of minerals, which formed when water soaked the rock long ago. Analysis of a sample containing more material from these concretions could provide information about the variability within the rock layer that includes both John Klein and Cumberland.

Mission engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., recently finished upgrading Curiosity's operating software following a four-week break. The rover continued monitoring the Martian atmosphere during the break, but the team did not send any new commands because Mars and the sun were positioned in such a way the sun could have blocked or corrupted commands sent from Earth.
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Curiosity is about nine months into a two-year prime mission since landing inside Gale Crater on Mars in August 2012. After the second rock drilling in Yellowknife Bay and a few other investigations nearby, the rover will drive toward the base of Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall (5-kilometers) layered mountain inside the crater.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project, of which Curiosity is the centerpiece, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#585 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:39 AM

Nine-Year-Old Mars Rover Passes 40-Year-Old Record Posted Image
May 16, 2013
PASADENA, Calif. -- While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited Earth's moon for three days in December 1972, they drove their mission's Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (22.210 statute miles or 35.744 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until yesterday.

The team operating NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity received confirmation in a transmission from Mars today that the rover drove 263 feet (80 meters) on Thursday, bringing Opportunity's total odometry since landing on Mars in January 2004 to 22.220 statute miles (35.760 kilometers).

Cernan discussed this prospect a few days ago with Opportunity team member Jim Rice of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The Apollo 17 astronaut said, "The record we established with a roving vehicle was made to be broken, and I'm excited and proud to be able to pass the torch to Opportunity."

The international record for driving distance on another world is still held by the Soviet Union's remote-controlled Lunokhod 2 rover, which traveled 23 miles (37 kilometers) on the surface of Earth's moon in 1973.

Opportunity began a multi-week trek this week from an area where it has been working since mid-2011, the "Cape York" segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater, to an area about 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) away, "Solander Point."

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL also manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project and its rover, Curiosity, which landed on Mars in August 2012.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#586 Mr.Habitat

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:18 AM

Poo
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#587 lx Birdie xl

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:03 PM

http://planetsave.co...t-in-new-image/



Rat On Mars — NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity Captures “Rat” In New Image


June 2, 2013



A rat on Mars? A picture taken by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, featuring what — according to some — is a “rat”, or possibly a lizard, is currently going viral.

Posted Image

Image Credit: Screen Capture


A discriminating eye will no doubt note that the rat on Mars looks a great deal like on a rock on the earth. You can perhaps see how the chance combination of the rock’s shape, the shadows around it, and the placement, could possibly resemble the well-known shape of a rat. But the resemblance is clearly created from a combination of different features — the “tail” appears to be a shadow and a chance “line” in the sand, the space under the “neck” and between the “legs” are indentations, and the “body” wouldn’t even be in the right plane/angle as compared to the landscape around it — it’s a rock.


But for the sake of it, and for fun, let’s go over it all.

The theory appears to have originated with a man in Japan who apparently goes over the photos that NASA releases in great detail — looking for just such a finding. It’s worth noting that this rat is actually a different meme than the squirrel on Mars that was seen back in December. People like the idea of small, fuzzy, cuddly creatures on Mars I guess. Why not a giant polar bear or snake? Oh right, cause there aren’t many rocks that big shaped that way. And for that matter if it was a larger object than the photos wouldn’t be so helpfully fuzzy.

The earlier squirrel on Mars was seen in the “Rocknest” site on the planet — a relatively small distance from this rat — maybe they are buddies? Some web sites have theorized that perhaps the creatures aren’t image artifacts or tricks of the eye/mind, but perhaps intentionally put there by NASA, as an “Easter egg” of sorts I guess. Strange theory, but possible I guess. Don’t know why NASA would bother though.

As a note — it’s kind of interesting when you think about it — the Earth is currently facing the possible extinction of over one half of all multicellular life by the year 2100 — we are currently in the midst of the 6th Great Mass Extinction — and the idea of a single rat or squirrel being found on Mars is what’s getting people’s attention…

Here’s the image without zooming in on the “rat”.

Posted Image

Image Credit: NASA


With regards to the Mars rover Curiosity’s real findings — NASA recently announced that the rover uncovered good evidence of past water flows on the Red Planet, and that life may very well have existed then. In particular, a rock sample was analyzed and found to contain the elements “necessary” for supporting life as we know it.

“We have characterized a very ancient, but strangely new ‘gray Mars’ where conditions once were favorable for life,” stated John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at the California Institute of Technology. “Curiosity is on a mission of discovery and exploration, and as a team we feel there are many more exciting discoveries ahead of us in the months and years to come.”

In related news, recent research was released documenting the levels of radiation that the Curiosity rover experienced on its way to Mars — and the levels were significant, well above the limits that NASA currently has in place for its astronauts. In order to send humans to Mars without more radiation exposure than NASA protocols currently allow for, significant and improved spacecraft shielding will need to be developed.


Read more at http://planetsave.co...RvTL2hjIYQUT.99
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#588 marleau_12

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:07 PM

So has anything significant been discovered? lol
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#589 Mr.Habitat

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 10:10 PM

Grizzo
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#590 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:48 PM

Billion-Pixel View of Mars Comes From Curiosity Rover06.19.13 Billion-Pixel View of Mars Comes From Curiosity Rover This is a reduced version of panorama from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity with 1.3 billion pixels in the full-resolution version. It shows Curiosity at the "Rocknest" site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand. Curiosity used three cameras to take the component images on several different days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012. Posted Image


PASADENA, Calif. -- A billion-pixel view from the surface of Mars, from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, offers armchair explorers a way to examine one part of the Red Planet in great detail.

The first NASA-produced view from the surface of Mars larger than one billion pixels stitches together nearly 900 exposures taken by cameras onboard Curiosity and shows details of the landscape along the rover's route.

The 1.3-billion-pixel image is available for perusal with pan and zoom tools at: http://mars.nasa.gov/bp1/ .

The full-circle scene surrounds the site where Curiosity collected its first scoops of dusty sand at a windblown patch called "Rocknest," and extends to Mount Sharp on the horizon.

"It gives a sense of place and really shows off the cameras' capabilities," said Bob Deen of the Multi-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "You can see the context and also zoom in to see very fine details."

Deen assembled the product using 850 frames from the telephoto camera of Curiosity's Mast Camera instrument, supplemented with 21 frames from the Mastcam's wider-angle camera and 25 black-and-white frames -- mostly of the rover itself -- from the Navigation Camera. The images were taken on several different Mars days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012. Raw single-frame images received from Curiosity are promptly posted on a public website at: http://mars.jpl.nasa...multimedia/raw/ . Mars fans worldwide have used those images to assemble mosaic views, including at least one gigapixel scene.

The new mosaic from NASA shows illumination effects from variations in the time of day for pieces of the mosaic. It also shows variations in the clarity of the atmosphere due to variable dustiness during the month while the images were acquired.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project is using Curiosity and the rover's 10 science instruments to investigate the environmental history within Gale Crater, a location where the project has found that conditions were long ago favorable for microbial life.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Curiosity's Mastcam. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington and built the Navigation Camera and the rover
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.





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