NASA: Mars Mission - Mision a Marte - Curiosity the Geologist and Chemist Robot - Curiosidad. Robot geologo y quimico - Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 8:18


http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/images/PIA15181-br2.jpg
12.09.2011
NASA's Curiosity Rover in Profile 
About the size of a small SUV, NASA's Curiosity rover is well equipped for a tour of Gale Crater on Mars. This impressive rover has six-wheel drive and the ability to turn in place a full 360 degrees, as well as the agility to climb steep hills. During a nearly two-year prime mission after landing on Mars, the rover will investigate whether Gale Crater ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/msl or http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mission Status Report
 
PASADENA, Calif. -- A maneuver on Tuesday adjusted the flight path of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft for delivering the rover Curiosity to a landing target beside a Martian mountain.
The car-size, one-ton rover is bound for arrival the evening of Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (early Aug. 6, EDT and Universal Time). The landing will mark the beginning of a two-year prime mission to investigate whether one of the most intriguing places on Mars ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life.
The latest trajectory correction maneuver, the third and smallest since the Nov. 26, 2011, launch, used four thruster firings totaling just 40 seconds. Spacecraft data and Doppler-effect changes in radio signal from the craft indicate the maneuver succeeded. As designed by engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the maneuver adjusts the location where the spacecraft will enter Mars' atmosphere by about 125 miles (200 kilometers) and advances the time of entry by about 70 seconds.
"This puts us closer to our entry target, so if any further maneuvers are needed, I expect them to be small," said JPL's Tomas Martin-Mur, the mission's navigation team chief. Opportunities for up to three additional trajectory correction maneuvers are scheduled during the final eight days of the flight.
The maneuver served both to correct errors in the flight path that remained after earlier correction maneuvers and to carry out a decision this month to shift the landing target about 4 miles (7 kilometers) closer to the mountain.
It altered the spacecraft's velocity by about one-tenth of a mile per hour (50 millimeters per second). The flight's first and second trajectory correction maneuvers produced velocity changes about 150 times larger on Jan. 11 and about 20 times larger on March 26.
Shifting the landing target closer to the mountain, informally named Mount Sharp, may shave months off the time needed for driving from the touchdown location to selected destinations at exposures of water-related minerals on the slope of the mountain.
The flight to Mars has entered its "approach phase" leading to landing day. Mission Manager Arthur Amador of JPL said, "In the next 40 days, the flight team will be laser-focused on the preparations for the challenging events of landing day -- continuously tracking the spacecraft's trajectory and monitoring the health and performance of its onboard systems, while using NASA's Deep Space Network to stay in continuous communications. We're in the home stretch now. The spacecraft continues to perform very well. And the flight team is up for the challenge."
Descent from the top of Mars' atmosphere to the surface will employ bold techniques enabling use of a smaller target area and heavier landed payload than were possible for any previous Mars mission. These innovations, if successful, will place a well-equipped mobile laboratory into a locale especially well suited for its mission of discovery. The same innovations advance NASA toward capabilities needed for human missions to Mars.
A video about the challenges of the landing is online at: http://go.nasa.gov/Q4b35n or http://go.usa.gov/vMn .
As of June 27, the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying the rover Curiosity will have traveled about 307 million miles (494 million kilometers) of its 352-million-mile (567-million-kilometer) flight to Mars.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl.and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ . You can follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .
Guy Webster/DC Agle 818-354-6278/818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov /agle@jpl.nasa.gov 




 Drive the robot - Maneje el robot:





Martian Dune Buggy - July 03, 2012
NASA engineers take the Curiosity test rover to California's Mojave desert to learn how to drive on Martian sand dunes. 

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/images/PIA15686-Fig1-new_ellipse_wide-br2.jpg
06.11.2012
Altered Landing Target in Gale Crater, Mars 
  As of June 2012, the target landing area for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater. The ellipse is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide (20 kilometers by 7 kilometers). The diameter of Gale Crater is 96 miles (154 kilometers). If landing goes well, the mission's rover, Curiosity, will drive in subsequent months to science destinations on Mount Sharp, outside of the landing ellipse.

A reduction in the size of the ellipse in June 2012 was based on analysis yielding increasing confidence in the precision capabilities of the mission's system for getting from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the surface. Using the smaller ellipse, the Mars Science Laboratory Project also moved the center of the target closer to Mount Sharp, which holds geological layers that are the prime destinations for the rover. Landing will be the evening of Aug. 5, 2012, Pacific Daylight Time (early Aug. 6 Universal Time and Eastern Time).

This oblique view of Mount Sharp is derived from a combination of elevation and imaging data from three Mars orbiters. The view is looking toward the southeast. Mount Sharp rises about 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) above the floor of Gale Crater.

The image combines elevation data from the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, image data from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and color information from Viking Orbiter imagery. There is no vertical exaggeration in the image.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/images/Grotzinger-1PIA15690-br2.jpg

07.16.2012
Geological Diversity at Curiosity's Landing Site 
 The area where NASA's Curiosity rover will land on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT) has a geological diversity that scientists are eager to investigate, as seen in this false-color map based on data from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The image was obtained by Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System. It merges topographical data with thermal inertia data that record the ability of the surface to hold onto heat.

The yellow oval shows the elliptical landing target for Curiosity's landing site.

An alluvial fan is visible around a crater to the northwest of the landing area. A series of undulating lines traveling southeast from the crater indicates similar material moving down a slope. The material, which appears bluish-green in this image, also forms a fan shape.

An area in red indicates a surface material that is more tightly cemented together than rocks around it and likely has a high concentration of minerals. An attractive interpretation for this texture is that water could have been present there some time in the past.

Curiosity is expected to land within the large Gale Crater. The rim of a smaller crater (about a half mile, or 1 kilometer, in diameter) inside of Gale is visible at the bottom right of the image.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


NASA: Mars Mission - Mision a Marte - Curiosity the Geologist and Chemist Robot - Curiosidad. Robot geologo y quimico - Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology 





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