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Waspie_Dwarf

High-Resolution Color Images from Gale Crater

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Curiosity Sends High-Resolution Color Images from Gale Crater

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This image is the first high-resolution color mosaic from NASA's Curiosity rover, showing the geological environment around the rover's landing site in Gale Crater on Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS › Full image and caption › Latest images › Curiosity gallery › Curiosity videos

NASA's Curiosity rover has shipped back to Earth high-resolution color images of its surroundings on Mars, sharpening our views of an intriguing channel, layered buttes and a layer of cobbles and pebbles embedded in a finer matrix of material. The images show a landscape closely resembling portions of the southwestern United States, adding to the impression gained from the lower-resolution thumbnail images released earlier this week.

The 79 images that went into the large mosaics were taken on Aug. 8, 2012 PDT (Aug. 9, EDT) by Curiosity's 34-millimeter Mastcam. The black areas indicate high-resolution images not yet returned by the rover.

The full-resolution images are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/ .

Curiosity sent lower-resolution versions of these images earlier in the week. The latest versions, sent while Curiosity was undergoing a software "brain transplant" and pausing in its acquisition of new science data, are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels.

In one version of the large mosaic, the colors portrayed are unmodified from those returned by the camera. The view is what a cell phone or camcorder would record, since the Mastcam takes color pictures in the exact same manner that consumer cameras acquire color images. The second version shows the colors modified as if the scene were transported to Earth and illuminated by terrestrial sunlight. This processing, called “white balancing,“ is useful for scientists to be able to recognize and distinguish rocks by their color in more familiar lighting.

Smaller mosaics of some of the areas most interesting to science team members are also available. One shows a section on the crater wall north of the landing site, where a network of valleys believed to have formed by water erosion enters Gale Crater from the outside. This is the first view scientists have had of a fluvial system – one relating to a river or stream – from the surface of Mars.

A second section of the mosaic looks south of the landing site, towards Mount Sharp, a peak that is about 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) high and taller than Mt. Whitney in California. This provides an overview of the eventual geologic targets Curiosity will explore in the next two years. Close by is a rock-strewn, gravelly surface. Farther away is a dark dune field, and beyond that lie the layered buttes and mesas of the sedimentary rock of Mount Sharp.

Another section of the mosaic shows an area excavated by the blast of the Mars Science Laboratory’s descent stage rockets. With the loose debris blasted away by the rockets, details of the underlying materials are clearly seen. Of particular note is a well-defined, topmost layer that contains fragments of rock embedded in a matrix of finer material.

Curiosity continues to be very healthy, with all instruments and engineering subsystems operating as planned. There are no science or instrument activities planned on Sol 5. Last night, the new flight software, which is optimized for surface operations, was tested for the first time and successfully executed all planned Sol 5 rover activities. The test demonstrated that the new software is ready to support the upcoming surface operations mission phase. After an afternoon nap, Curiosity then returned to operating on its previous flight software, as planned. The rover's primary main computer will be permanently transitioned to the new flight software on Aug. 13.

Veronica McGregor/Guy Webster 818-354-9452/818-354-6278

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

veronica.mcgregor@jpl.nasa.gov / guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

2012-239

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Stunning Photos.

This is going to be a hell of a mission!

I'm betting on curiosity still plowing around five years from now!

:tsu:

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Posted (edited)

The pictures of Mars, from Viking to Curiosity, have looked much like the American SW, the Gobi, or the Sahara Desert. no wonder human imagination has depicted Mars as having civilizations ! I hope that we find SOMETHING there, even if it's not relics of a " lost civilization " or extra - terrestrial outpost ( I doubt we'll find Deja Thoris' palace or Martian pyramids ). Extremeophile microbes would be almost as good.@WillyAdama

Edited by TruthSeeker-Daniel

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Stunning Photos.

This is going to be a hell of a mission!

I'm betting on curiosity still plowing around five years from now!

:tsu:

I`l raise your five and put in five more ! Lets Do this NASA !

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I`l raise your five and put in five more ! Lets Do this NASA !

You're not human. You come from Planet Texas.

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You're not human. You come from Planet Texas.

And your meaning here is what exactly?

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And your meaning here is what exactly?

It's just a humorous reference to DONTEATUS's location (details under his name, on the left).

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Ground control to Major Mid ! Come in Major Mid ! Count down has begun Circuits on ! Curiosity is one amazing piece of man`s great ability right ?

Now we need to Fire up the Money maker`s and Put Man on Mars ! We will get great spin off tech`s from this that will be needed back here on earth ,If were to survive its fryer Pan heat waves Im living in here !

Can you say Water for $ 30:00 per gallon nah ! me either ! but we need to watch it ! ITs sneeking up on us ! :tu:

What ever happend to our Mars missions on the U/M party thread?

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I'm betting on curiosity still plowing around five years from now!

:tsu:

I'm with DONTEATUS on this one. It's nuclear power source should be good for a decade and so as long as it avoids major component failures (or budget cuts) this beastie could still be exploring in 2022.

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& I agree with Waspie_Dwarf. Curiosity should be cruising the dunes of Mars around 2022. How many miles / kilometers can it travel in a Martian / Terran day ?

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I'm with DONTEATUS on this one. It's nuclear power source should be good for a decade and so as long as it avoids major component failures (or budget cuts) this beastie could still be exploring in 2022.

I'll add that I think the engineering involved in this spacecraft, if just pretty close to its predecessors, should assure that Waspie!

:tsu: :tsu:

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The Gang @ JPL I would bet put a lot of little backup potential into the Ride ! Look @ Sprit & the other rovers we put up there ! Its quite the way to go about our exploration In my opinion ! But until we actually put man onto another Planet like Mars and set up shop We need to Keep doing our home work !

Great post Waspie !

Now Wheres that Mid ? :tu:

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Yeah, but maybe we should've used methane as a power source to make Curiosity more eco - friendly !! Remember the noise made by some people abou the RTG's on the Galileo space probe. :alien: :alien:

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Yeah, but maybe we should've used methane as a power source to make Curiosity more eco - friendly !! Remember the noise made by some people abou the RTG's on the Galileo space probe. :alien: :alien:

A couple of huge problems there. Firstly, Curiosity is designed to work for a minimum of two years with a hope that it will still be around in a decade. How enormous do you think the tank would have to be for a decade long mission if it was powered by methane.

Secondly, methane is one of the tell tale signs of life. One of Curiosity's instruments is designed to look for methane in the Martian atmosphere. That would be pretty pointless if the rover is contaminating its own environment with the stuff.

Thirdly, what is so green about using methane. It is still a hydrocarbon, it still gives of polluting combustion products. Burning any fuel would contaminate the atmosphere around Curiosity, hindering the experiments on board.

For a mission like Curiosity's the power source must not detrimentally alter the environment around the vehicle. That leaves only two possibilities, solar power or nuclear power. In an ideal world solar power would be the first choice, but Mars is not an ideal world. Both MER vehicles suffered degradation of there power supply due to build up of Martian dust on the solar panels. Spirit and Opportunity also had to hibernate through the Martian winter as there was not enough sun light to power them. The available energy was used to keep the rovers from freezing through the long Martian winters (twice as long as Earth's).

For a mission as large and complex as Curiosity, nuclear was the ONLY available option.

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Yeah, but maybe we should've used methane as a power source to make Curiosity more eco - friendly !! Remember the noise made by some people abou the RTG's on the Galileo space probe. :alien: :alien:

Three words...

READ WASPIE'S POST!

The answer to your post is all there... :yes:

Edited by MID

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Gas wont last , Just Look at us here on earth ! The more Mexican food I eat the more Gas I make,butt Curiosity GOt no good Mexican food to eat up there ! :tu:

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MID, Waspie_Dwarf , etc:

I was merely being facetitious, having you on, engaging in a kind of irony......

You thought I was serious ?

It was satire !! :tu: C'mon.....

Edited by TruthSeeker-Daniel

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No burritos for Mars? I'm out.

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It was satire !! :tu: C'mon.....

Really? You disguised it well.

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I have a satire cloaking device. It's a little like the " Chameleon Circuit " on the TARDIS..... ;) Plus, on the internet, it's hard to tell who's serious & who's having you on without facial expressions & body language. I have to remind myself.

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And a very nice scrollable panorama here - it's a bit like being there - eerie and barren, yet compellingly beautiful... Can't wait for it to set off on its travels

Just as an aside, I note that this Mars mission seems to have attracted attention like none before it.. is that perhaps a sign that we do hunger to explore our solar system, and that 40+ years after Apollo we are getting rather desperate for something a bit more substantial...?

I hope so - I'd love to see the space program get back on track.. Thanks JPL, NASA and all the other contributors to this mission - it's looking very promising indeed and is off to a wonderful start.

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Chrlzs -

This is probably the most ambitious mission to Mars that we will undertake ( there might be others before that, depending upon who sends another probe & if it's a mobile laboratory or merely an orbiter ) until a manned mission goes to Mars & actually leaves footprints in the sand. I hear that India is sending a probe, possibly Japan, but I don't know the specifics.

I saw an article about plans for a Dutch reality show centered around a " one way " mission to Mars, but from what I've read, it sounds like a fantasy thing. I am not making this up. :huh: i need to Google or Bing it.

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Plus, on the internet, it's hard to tell who's serious & who's having you on without facial expressions & body language. I have to remind myself.

We've all been there.
This is probably the most ambitious mission to Mars that we will undertake ( there might be others before that, depending upon who sends another probe & if it's a mobile laboratory or merely an orbiter ) until a manned mission goes to Mars & actually leaves footprints in the sand. I hear that India is sending a probe, possibly Japan, but I don't know the specifics.

India is sending an orbiter next year.

The next "big" mission will be ExoMars, another advanced rover. This ESA mission was to have been in cooperation with NASA, but NASA have withdrawn due to budget constraints. The Russia space agency, Roscosmos, has stepped in and taken over NASA's role.

I saw an article about plans for a Dutch reality show centered around a " one way " mission to Mars, but from what I've read, it sounds like a fantasy thing. I am not making this up. :huh: i need to Google or Bing it.

Who needs Google or Bing when you have UM and Waspie?

There are a couple of threads on this already: Reality show, one way trip to Mars and Company offering one-way Mars trips.

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NASA always gets its head put on the chopping block, come appropriations time, it doesn't matter WHO'S in office.

Glad that ESA is sending ExoMars to maintain a " human " ( by proxy, anyway ) presence on Mars. I usd to have a connection at JPL who sent me nearly fresh photos of the Viking findings & other missions back in NASA / JPL's " salad days ". Roscosmos - I can remember when it was Glavkosmos, seems like yesterday.

Thanks for the threads about the Mars reality show & the one - way Mars trips - It sounds like the origin story for Kuato. ( " Get your ass to Mars " Quaid . :tsu: )

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Roscosmos - I can remember when it was Glavkosmos, seems like yesterday.

Glavkosmos was a different thing really. It was not really a Soviet "NASA". It was more a governmental organisation that dealt with trade and international cooperation in space. It was through Glavkosmos that Warsaw Pact and other Soviet allied nations personnel got to fly on Soyuz flights and later to Salyut 6. As the cold war thawed nations like France also flew crew members to the station via this organisation.

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