NASA: Mars science laboratory - Part 1 - Curiosity landing - The day of the concretion a dream - An humanist day - 06.08.12

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 13:45


Curiosity's Surroundings

This is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on the left "eye" of a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance cameras on the left-rear side of the rover. The image is one-half of full resolution. The clear dust cover that protected the camera during landing has been sprung open. Part of the spring that released the dust cover can be seen at the bottom right, near the rover's wheel.

On the top left, part of the rover's power supply is visible.

Some dust appears on the lens even with the dust cover off.

The cameras are looking directly into the sun, so the top of the image is saturated. Looking straight into the sun does not harm the cameras. The lines across the top are an artifact called "blooming" that occurs in the camera's detector because of the saturation.

As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images from other cameras are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 
 Cheers for Curiosity

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., celebrate the landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on the Red Planet. The rover touched down on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 Curiosity Snaps Picture of Its Shadow

This is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's front Hazard-Avoidance cameras at one-quarter of full resolution. The camera is the right eye of a stereo pair positioned at the middle of the rover's front side.

The clear dust cover on the camera is still on in this view, and dust can be seen around its edge, along with three cover fasteners. The rover's shadow is visible in the foreground.

As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



 What Lies Behind Curiosity

This is the first image taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's rear left Hazard-Avoidance cameras at one-quarter of full resolution. The camera is the left eye of a stereo pair positioned at the back left, or port, side of the rover.

The clear dust cover on the camera is still on in this view, and dust can be seen around its edge, along with three cover fasteners. One of the rover's wheels is in the lower right corner.

As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


 What Lies Behind Curiosity

This is the first image taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's rear left Hazard-Avoidance cameras at one-quarter of full resolution. The camera is the left eye of a stereo pair positioned at the back left, or port, side of the rover.

The clear dust cover on the camera is still on in this view, and dust can be seen around its edge, along with three cover fasteners. One of the rover's wheels is in the lower right corner.

As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech dispersed even further. Dust activity is picking up on the other side of the planet, as shown by the dust clouds marked on the left side of the map. None of these dust clouds will arrive at Gale Crater before Curiosity does.

The map is a rectangular projection of Mars (from 90 degrees latitude to minus 90 degrees latitude, and minus 180 degrees longitude to 180 degrees east longitude). The landing site is located on the right side of the map, near 137 degrees east longitude and 4.5 degrees south latitude. The map shows water ice clouds at equatorial latitudes that are typical for late southern winter, when Mars is farther from the sun. Small, short-lived dust storms are common at this time of year on Mars and were taken into account when Curiosity's landing system was designed and tested. Larger and more long-lived dust storms are very rare at this time of year.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


 Eye of the Needle

This graphic shows how navigators steering NASA's Mars Science Laboratory capsule — with the Curosity rover tucked inside — are aiming for a pinpoint location above Mars. They liken it to threading the eye of a needle.

Navigators are aiming for a point inside of a target box that is 1.7 by 7.15 miles (2.8 by 11.5 kilometers) wide above the Red Planet. Mars' gravity well, which has been precisely calculated, will pull the spacecraft into the Martian atmosphere. The plane in which MSL has been traveling toward Mars — labeled trajectory plane — hits what is known as the B-plane at a 90 degree angle. The B plane is the plane perpendicular to the velocity of the spacecraft when it is far away from Mars. It is used for maneuver targeting. The northward direction of Mars' pole is also indicated.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


 Tackling the Challenge of Mars

This artist's scoreboard displays a fictional game between Mars and Earth, with Mars in the lead. It refers to the success rate of sending missions to Mars, both as orbiters and landers. Of the previous 39 missions targeted for Mars from around the world, 15 have been successes and 24 failures. For baseball fans, that's a batting average of .385. The United States has had 13 successes out of 18 attempts, or a "batting average" of .722. NASA's Curiosity rover, set to land on the Red Planet the evening of Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT), will mark the United States' 19th attempt to tackle the challenge of Mars, and the world's 40th attempt.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Tracking Curiosity's Entry, Descent and Landing on Mars

This image shows engineers' refinements of where NASA's Curiosity rover will enter the atmosphere of Mars on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The background image is a false-color image from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

The yellow line tracks the expected path on the ground directly under Curiosity as it descends through Mars' atmosphere and touches down at Gale Crater. When it enters the atmosphere, it is about 77.7 miles (125 kilometers) above the surface. The red oval is the predicted landing area, known as the "landing ellipse." The graphic also marks critical events during descent, as well as the time they occur after atmospheric entry. The green line shows the ground track of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which will be flying almost overhead Curiosity as it lands, and will provide communication support. Not shown in the picture are the ground tracks of NASA’s Mars Odyssey and ESA’s Mars Express, which will also provide support during Curiosity's entry, descent and landing.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 
Martian Dust Storm

This close-up image of a dust storm on Mars was acquired by the Mars Color Imager instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 7, 2007, around 3 p.m. local time on Mars. Scientists working with NASA's Curiosity rover, which is set to land on Mars on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT), are monitoring Mars each day for similar small storms that could either drift over the landing site or stir up dust that moves as haze over the site.

This image is centered on Utopia Planitia (53.6 degrees north latitude, 147.9 degrees east longitude), along the north seasonal polar cap edge in late northern winter. When NASA's Curiosity rover lands on Mars, it will be late southern winter. Scientists are looking at similar small storms that form near the south seasonal polar cap edge. The dust storm pictured here was short-lived, lasting less than 24 hours. The image also shows the seasonal north polar cap (at top of figure) and gravity-wave water ice clouds coming off of Mie crater, just south of the storm. Gravity-wave clouds, also called lee-wave clouds, are clouds that result from changes in atmospheric pressure, temperature and height because of vertical displacement, such as when wind blows over a mountain or crater wall.

The projection of the image is polar stereographic and the image has a resolution of about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) per pixel. North is indicated with an arrow in this image. The white scale bar is 93 miles (150 kilometers).

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 
 Gale Crater is Low on Mars

Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is set to land, belongs to a family of large, very old craters shown here on this elevation map. It has one of the lowest elevations among this family.

The data come from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Divvying Up Curiosity's Landing Region

The Mars Science Laboratory science team divided up the location where the mission's rover, Curiosity, will land into a series of "quadrangles." This includes the targeted landing ellipse (red) and adjacent areas within Gale Crater. Each quadrangle is 0.025 degrees in latitude by 0.025 degrees in longitude. Because Gale Crater is near the equator, each quadrangle is almost a square with roughly 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers) on a side.

More than 30 team members mapped the quadrangles, which show great diversity in their geological attributes, including: portions of an alluvial fan (quads 31, 32, 33); layered deposits (quad 50 and many others); dunes composed of dark gray sand (quads 92, 54, 28); the basal-layered deposits of Mount Sharp (quads 118, 107, 83); and buried impact craters (quad 81). Many of these features represent important targets in the search for habitable environments. The background image was obtained by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter's HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


 Close-up of Curiosity's Landing Region

This is a close-up view of the northern two-thirds of one of the quadrangles (number 50) that were mapped onto the landing region of NASA's Curiosity rover. Note the presence of layered deposits around the rim of an impact crater, as well as along a scarp that traces through the center of the quad. These exposures are reminiscent of the terrain studied by NASA's Opportunity rover, where exploration was limited to the layered deposits exposed along the flanks of craters, in addition to NASA's Spirit rover, which studied the layering exposed along a circular scarp known as "Home Plate." The Gale Crater landing region provides access to both types of exposures.

The background image was obtained by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter's HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Topographic Map of Curiosity Landing Area

This image shows the topography, with shading added, around the area where NASA's Curiosity rover is slated to land on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). Red indicates higher areas and purple indicates lower areas, with a total elevation range of about 600 feet (nearly 200 meters). The red oval indicates the targeted landing area for the rover known as the "landing ellipse." An annotation indicates the location of an alluvial fan, or a fan-shaped deposit where debris spreads out downslope. On Earth, alluvial fans often are formed by flowing water. The presence of channel-like features in the Gale Crater fan suggest a similar origin.

Elevation data were obtained from stereo processing of images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Thermal inertia data are from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (THEMIS) onboard NASA's Odyssey.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 
 Radiation Levels on the Way to Mars

This graphic shows the flux of radiation detected by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory on the trip from Earth to Mars from December 2011 to July 2012. The spikes in radiation levels occurred in February, March and late May of 2012 because of large solar energetic particle events caused by giant flares on the sun.

The data were obtained by the Radiation Assessment Detector on Curiosity. The radiation levels are measured in units of flux or particles per square centimeter per second per steradian. The MSL spacecraft structure (which includes the backshell and heatshield) provides significant shielding from the deep space radiation environment, reducing significantly the particle flux observed by the Radiation Assessment Detector.

Zooming in on the solar energetic particle event in March, a red line shows the particle flux observed by the Solar Isotope Spectrometer instrument on NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer. ACE orbits the L1 libration point, which is a point of Earth-sun gravitational equilibrium about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth and 92.27 million miles (148.5 million kilometers) from the sun. In March, the ACE spacecraft was roughly aligned with MSL in terms of the path the solar particles took from the sun, thus providing a good estimate of the radiation levels outside of MSL's shielding. The measurements from the Solar Isotope Spectrometer are several orders of magnitude greater than those seen by MSL's Radiation Assessment Detector inside the capsule.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SWRI


 Cruise Vehicles

This set of artist's concepts shows NASA's Mars Science Laboratory cruise capsule and NASA's Orion spacecraft, which is being built now at NASA's Johnson Space Center and will one day send astronauts to Mars. The rover Curiosity is tucked inside of the Mars Science Laboratory cruise vehicle like human beings would be tucked inside Orion.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JSC


 Earth and Martian Magnetic Fields

This is an artist's concept comparing the present day magnetic fields on Earth and Mars. Earth's magnetic field is generated by an active dynamo -- a hot core of molten metal. The magnetic field surrounds Earth and is considered global (left image). The various Martian magnetic fields do not encompass the entire planet and are local (right image). The Martian dynamo is extinct, and its magnetic fields are "fossil" remnants of its ancient, global magnetic field.

Image credit: NASA/GSFC


 Seventeen Cameras on Curiosity

This graphic shows the locations of the cameras on NASA's Curiosity rover. The rover's mast features seven cameras: the Remote Micro Imager, part of the Chemistry and Camera suite; four black-and-white Navigation Cameras (two on the left and two on the right) and two color Mast Cameras (Mastcams). The left Mastcam has a 34-millimeter lens and the right Mastcam has a 100-millimeter lens.

There is one camera on the end of a robotic arm that is stowed in this graphic; it is called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).

There are nine cameras hard-mounted to the rover: two pairs of black-and-white Hazard Avoidance Cameras in the front, another two pair mounted to the rear of the rover, (dashed arrows in the graphic) and the color Mars Descent Imager (MARDI).

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



 My congratulations to NASA agency for Curiosity landing, also to the American people for give support with his taxes to the agency.
It is a great time to the science, I was very emotioned watching the landing last night.

An humanitarian hug
The Solitary Dog
Ricardo Marcenaro




NASA: Mars science laboratory - Part 1 - Curiosity landing - The day of the concretion a dream - An humanist day - 06.08.12





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