Curiosity’s Landing Choreography
This video by JPL’s Adam Steltzner provides a step-by-step explanation of the choreography needed to land NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars.
It starts with a computer simulation from NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System program and uses actual images from Curiosity’s Mars Descent Imager. It ends with a high-resolution color image from Curiosity’s Mast Camera. Entry, Descent and Landing team leader Adam Steltzner. Source: Universe Today
Bradbury Landing Panorama
The image editing wizards at UnmannedSpaceflight are having a field day with all the sensational views being sent back by the Curiosity rover. Above is a beautiful color panoramic view edited by James Canvin of the newly named “Bradbury Landing,” Curiosity’s landing place. The view of Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp) is simply stunning, along with parts of (and shadows of) the rover itself. Download the size you prefer from here:
Click on the image to have access to larger views, then zoom in with your mouse wheel and use the bottom slide to pan a bit from side to side. James said he added the latest downloads from Curiosity in order to show the top of Aeolis Mons, and extended the sky to make the view complete. These are the available resolutions. Half Resolution (14606 x 5496) ( 15MB ) Quarter Resolution (7303 x 2748) ( 3MB ) Eighth Resolution (3651 x 1374) ( 794kB ) Source: Universe Today
Interactive 360 Degree Pan of Mars Curiosity Site.
Pan around Gale Crater from the safety of your web browser
OK, unless you’ve got $500,000 to spare and can wait a few years, you’re probably not going to be landing on Mars anytime soon. This is the most amazing imaging technology, I could not stop looking at it! Open the video, select FULL SCREEN and pan around. Now, email me and tell me if it aint he coolest thing you’ve seen! Just like being on Mars!! The best you can manage for now is to follow the exploits of NASA’s Curiosity rover, which touched down on the red planet last week.
Now you can at least get a little more immersed in the experience thanks to a gorgeous 360 degree interactive panorama created from the first high-res, color photos beamed back to Earth from the vehicle.
Assembled by Andrew Bodrov, the panorama allows you to rotate and zoom a virtual camera mounted smack dab in the center of the Curiosity rover, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory. In fact, you can pan the image down and get an up-close-and-personal look at the $2.5 billion off-road vehicle, which appears completely unfazed by its 35 million mile journey to our planetary neighbor — apart from a little dust, that is.
Curiosity recently had its software upgraded by ground crews at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is currently undergoing a series of systems checks that must be performed in order to determine its reediness to roll out towards Mt. Sharp in a few weeks’ time.
For now, it’s providing us with unprecedented high-resolution views of its new home, where many hope (and some believe) it might find evidence of past or current life during its planned two-year mission. Sources: Yahoo News/Gizmodo Cr: Randy Nelson and Tecca
* INTERACTIVE iPAD GUIDE TO CURIOSITY ROVER MISSION
Astronomy Now and Spaceflight Now have created an interactive iPad guide to the Curiosity rover mission. Learn more about the mission, explore the rover’s components and preview Europe’s plans for the next Mars rover destined to visit the Red Planet. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mission-to-mars-astronomy/id548931049?mt=8
Video - ‘Where Were You When Curiosity Landed on Mars?’ Here is a video produced by NASA that highlights the space agency’s social (and social media) efforts. The video asks the question – “Where were you when Curiosity landed on Mars?”
Curiosity’s ‘voice’ is Captured During Nail-Biting Mars landing
NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity may seem like the strong, silent type, but the 1-ton robot was making a lot of noise during its harrowing Red Planet touchdown on Aug. 5. Curiosity phoned home throughout its daring and unprecedented landing sequence that night, giving its nervous handlers step-by-step status and health updates. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter recorded some of this chatter, and now we can hear what Curiosity had to say.
Sort of. ESA scientists have processed Curiosity’s radio signals, shifting them to frequencies the human ear can hear. “This provides a faithful reproduction of the ‘sound’ of the NASA mission’s arrival at Mars and its seven-minute plunge to the Red Planet’s surface,” Mars Express researchers wrote in a blog post shortly after Curiosity’s successful touchdown. [ How Mars Rover's Landing "Sounded" (Video) ]
The recording compresses about 20 minutes of Curiosity signals into a 19-second clip that sounds suitably otherworldly. For a few seconds, it sounds as if a racecar is revving up its engine. Then that gives way to a strange electronic noise that calls to mind a 1980s video game — Pac Man, perhaps. The revving comes back, and then the recording stops.
Mars Express was one of three spacecraft that stood by to observe Curiosity’s landing, which saw the rover lowered to the surface on cables by a rocket-powered sky crane. NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) also kept tabs on Curiosity, the centerpiece of the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL).
Mars’ rotation took Curiosity out of direct contact with Earth a few minutes before it actually touched down, so NASA was counting on these spacecraft to relay news about how things went. Mars Odyssey acted as a “bent pipe,” sending Curiosity’s signals on to mission control in real time and helping confirm the successful touchdown. (Because of the vast distance between Earth and Mars, the Curiosity team celebrated about 14 minutes after the rover actually landed.)
Both Mars Express and MRO must store information onboard for several hours before relaying it back to our planet, so they didn’t break the big news on Aug. 5. And Mars Express’ orbit took it out of range just before landing occurred.
“We tracked MSL for about 28 minutes, then lost contact as expected just a few moments before Curiosity’s touchdown in Gale Crater,” Michel Denis, Mars Express Spacecraft Operations manager, said in a statement. “NASA now has this valuable data, and everyone here is delighted to have helped support Curiosity’s arrival at Mars.”
MRO, however, snapped a photo of Curiosity riding its parachute through the Martian atmosphere. The spacecraft has also captured images of the rover resting inside Gale Crater, and it spotted where Curiosity’s sky crane, parachute, heat shield, backshell and ejected ballast came down.
New Stunning ISS Time-lapse: Earth Illuminated
400 years ago, Galileo could only imagine what the view of Earth would be like from space. Today, we have people on board the International Space Station who see that view every day. This new beautiful time-lapse shows aurora, lightning, our Milky Way Galaxy, city lights and other sights as seen from orbit. Below is a great still image from this video, an amazing look through the ISS’s Cupola as Earth whizzes by:
Image caption: A view out the Cupola of the ISS. Credit: NASA
More from Tecca:
- 27 glimpses into Martian history to pique your Curiosity
- Curiosity on Mars: Watch mankind’s triumphant return to the red planet through the eyes of NASA
- The Mars Curiosity rover landing in real-time simulation