Curiosity on Mars

Hypatian wrote:

Holy sh*t.

MRO caught a picture of Curiosity [em]on the chute[/em] during EDL. Unbelievable.

Smaller picture, just because:
IMAGE(http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/673723main_PIA15980-43_800-600.jpg)

TempestBlayze wrote:

What saddens me the most is when I talk to some of my family and people at work about it and they seem so nonchalant about it. Has everyone become so jaded? Some people even said why would we spend some of our tax dolars on this? When I explain to them about how much new technology stems from this, they again seem unimpressed.

At this morning's planetarium show, the high school physics teacher who had gotten the chance to tour JPL and talk with some of the engineers was most impressed by CheMin, the X-Ray diffraction module. The technology in that allows for on-site mineral analysis for geophysicists, identification of counterfeit drugs, and other cool stuff.

If Neil DeGrasse Tyson's enthusiasm and NASA landing a Volkswagon on Mars aren't enough to get people excited, maybe we've crossed some threshold where virtual reality at home is more appealing than the real, risky thing? Or maybe Spirit and Opportunity have just been so successful that people just take Mars for granted now.

I'm glad this thread shows that the excitement for a lot of us isn't gone yet.

MeatMan wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

What we can achieve when we set our minds to it is amazing.

I hope this starts a new interest in space exploration and science. We've been in a long drought.

+∞

+∞∞

Rallick wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

What we can achieve when we set our minds to it is amazing.

I hope this starts a new interest in space exploration and science. We've been in a long drought.

+∞

+∞∞

+∞∞∞

IMAGE(http://thetwist03.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/lycia-naff-total-recall-original1.jpg?w=595)

Rallick wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

What we can achieve when we set our minds to it is amazing.

I hope this starts a new interest in space exploration and science. We've been in a long drought.

+∞

+∞∞

+∞∞∞∞

Spaceships should not be going to museums. They should be boldly going.

Tanglebones wrote:
Rallick wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

What we can achieve when we set our minds to it is amazing.

I hope this starts a new interest in space exploration and science. We've been in a long drought.

+∞

+∞∞

+∞∞∞

IMAGE(http://thetwist03.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/lycia-naff-total-recall-original1.jpg?w=595)

That looks shopped.

Katy wrote:

At this morning's planetarium show, the high school physics teacher who had gotten the chance to tour JPL and talk with some of the engineers was most impressed by CheMin, the X-Ray diffraction module. The technology in that allows for on-site mineral analysis for geophysicists, identification of counterfeit drugs, and other cool stuff.

Finally, we can put an end to the notorious Martian counterfeit drug smuggling ring.

I had to go find this and add this link to the "Humor" list:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/mar...

momgamer wrote:
Rallick wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

What we can achieve when we set our minds to it is amazing.

I hope this starts a new interest in space exploration and science. We've been in a long drought.

+∞

+∞∞

+∞∞∞∞

Spaceships should not be going to museums. They should be boldly going.

+∞∞∞∞∞

All of this - I can't wait to see more pictures! Squee!

Today's Google doodle has been updated to add a certain something in the sky.

IMAGE(http://p.twimg.com/AzpR34SCQAAJP6Y.jpg:large)

MeatMan wrote:

Today's Google doodle has been updated to add a certain something in the sky.

So awesome! Thanks for pointing that out. Would have missed it otherwise.

The next press event streaming the latest news and images is live right now at http://www.ustream.tv/NASAJPL

Montalban wrote:

If Neil DeGrasse Tyson's enthusiasm and NASA landing a Volkswagon on Mars aren't enough to get people excited, maybe we've crossed some threshold where virtual reality at home is more appealing than the real, risky thing? Or maybe Spirit and Opportunity have just been so successful that people just take Mars for granted now.

I'm glad this thread shows that the excitement for a lot of us isn't gone yet.

I think many people just take everything for granted now; plentiful food, advanced medicine, fast cars, faster computers, and the 24/7 bombardment of media.

I took a screen grab of a new image during the currently streaming press event, showing Curiosity's wheels, a nice shadow of the rover itself and a great view of Mount Sharp in the distance.

IMAGE(http://s10.postimage.org/eidx7qsw9/image.png)

[edit]

A slightly better version of the image was also just uploaded by @MarsCuriosity on Twitter.

Breaking! Heat shield spotted while still falling in parachute photo: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/08/06/curiosity-update-heat-shield-spotted

Video (essentially an animated gif) of Curiosity's descent:

And then this is what comes next:
IMAGE(http://www.wayoftherodent.com/wilbur/clip_image017_0002.jpg)

I'm late to the party, but I'm glad to hear the landing went smoothly. This is all super exciting!

Bear wrote:
Katy wrote:

And then this is what comes next:
IMAGE(http://www.wayoftherodent.com/wilbur/clip_image017_0002.jpg)

While I didn't expect a giant green lizard on the screen I did have a brief thought last night. What would the reaction be if Curiosity happens to find, oh I don't know, a pile of bones or something that clearly isn't of earth origin?

Prior to the landing, SETI had an interesting hangout, where they were talking about the possibility (extremely slim) of finding stromatolites, if Martian bacteria had existed in large quantities at some point in the past.

Katy wrote:

And then this is what comes next:
IMAGE(http://www.wayoftherodent.com/wilbur/clip_image017_0002.jpg)

While I didn't expect a giant green lizard on the screen I did have a brief thought last night. What would the reaction be if Curiosity happens to find, oh I don't know, a pile of bones or something that clearly isn't of earth origin?

My son commented last night that the narrator for NASA was like the worlds greatest raid leader!

It was interesting in the pre-landing YouTube feed to watch the subtle push and pull between the SETI camp and those close to the actual project.

I can't remember how many times the phrase 'this is not a search for life mission' was repeated. You could tell everyone wanted it to be though.

Video of composed of stills shot from the moment of heat shield separation until touchdown.

More martian goodness:
IMAGE(http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/674083main_PIA15691-full_full.jpg)

Things are gonna great real crazy once the cameras' dust covers are removed and the high-gain antenna is raised. Hold on tight!

I cant wait to see some HD photos and possibly some clear videos!

TempestBlayze wrote:

I cant wait to see some HD photos and possibly some clear videos!

From what I read, a video of the decent will be made using thumbnails (which appears to be what OG_slinger posted). Then, once the high-gain is up, they'll be able to send the actual 720p video. Nuts.

Text from NASA's MSL Press Kit (61p. PDF)

NASA's Press Kit wrote:

The video will also give fans worldwide an unprecedented sense of riding a spacecraft to a landing on Mars. MARDI will record the video on its own 8-gigabyte flash memory at about four frames per second and close to 1,600 by 1,200 pixels per frame. Thumbnails and a few samples of full-resolution frames will be transmitted to Earth in the first few days after landing. The nested set of images from higher altitude to ground level will enable pinpointing of Curiosity’s location. The pace of sending the rest of the frames for full-resolution video will depend on sharing priority with data from the rover’s other investigations.

The full video — available first from the thumbnails in YouTube-like resolution and later in full detail — will begin with a glimpse of the heat shield falling away from beneath the rover. The first views of the ground will cover an area several kilometers (a few miles) across. Successive frames taken as the vehicle descends will close in and cover successively smaller areas. The video will likely nod up and down to fairly large angles owing to parachute-induced oscillations. Its roll clockwise and counterclockwise will be smaller, as thrusters on the descent stage control that motion. When the parachute is jettisoned, the video will show large angular motions as the descent vehicle maneuvers to avoid re-contacting the back shell and parachute. Rocket engine vibration may also be seen. A few seconds before landing, the rover will be lowered on tethers beneath the descent stage, and the video will show the relatively slow approach to the surface. The final frames, after landing, will cover a bath-towel-size patch of ground under the frontleft corner of the rover

Forgive my skimming, but is there some technical reason why all the pics so far are in black & white?

Aaron D. wrote:

Forgive my skimming, but is there some technical reason why all the pics so far are in black & white?

I'd guess speed/format involved in transmission times?

m0nk3yboy wrote:
Aaron D. wrote:

Forgive my skimming, but is there some technical reason why all the pics so far are in black & white?

I'd guess speed/format involved in transmission?

The thing is loaded with cameras/imagers of a bunch of different types. The only ones open initially are the simple/cheap ones that don't need to be as heavily protected during entry, and don't need as much power and signal strength to broadcast their data. The nicer cameras and high-gain antenna should be uncovered soon. Low-rez/B&W pics come in a lot faster and more frequently, making the time to respond to problems faster, too. Not sure what the current lag is between us and mars, but probably somewhere between 8 and 20 minutes.

EDIT: According to the JPL ephemeris web app, the one-way light time to mars is currently ~ 13.87 minutes. Now that's a high-ping-bastard!

13.87 minutes. Whoa. That's how long it use to take pron images to load on my pc.