Curiosity on Mars

Yeah, I figured it had something to do with distance vs. transmission speed.

Looking forward to some sexy, high-quality color pics (though the current batch look great too).

For those who can watch, they're live streaming updates in daily press events at 1 pm EDT/10 am PDT all this week at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl. Today's live stream just started a few minutes ago.

[edit]

A new image has been released.

IMAGE(http://s17.postimage.org/liizsy4pr/image.png)

For perspective, they gave some distances. From Curiosity to the back shell is about 600 meters. From Curiosity to the sky crane is about 650 meters. From Curiosity to the heat shield is about 1200 meters.

That's pretty sweet! That has to be the most expensive wreckage on another celestial body. I wonder if any of it still has active sensors that are broadcasting.

Aaron D. wrote:

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

IIRC, during the last minutes of the landing the Curiosity Rover wasn't in direct sight of Earth. All communication was being routed through Odyssey, which was only overhead briefly. I imagine JPL simply wanted immediate visual confirmation that the rover was down and safe and the quickest and least data intensive way to do that was to send tiny black and white photos.

I also imagine that Curiosity wasn't exactly operating at 100% after spending nine months in the deep dark. I know they're going to spend the next week or so simply running systems checks, so I doubt they were maxing out their Electra UHF radio straight out of the gate.

From the Curiosity Rover Wiki page:

Curiosity can communicate with Earth directly in speeds up to 32 kbit/s, but the bulk of the data transfer should be relayed through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Odyssey orbiter, which are much more powerful and have better antennas, thus being able to communicate faster with Earth. Data transfer speeds between Curiosity and each orbiter may reach 2 Mbit/s and 256 kbit/s, respectively, but each orbiter is only able to communicate with Curiosity for about eight minutes per day.

At landing, telemetry was monitored by three orbiters, depending on their dynamic location: the Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA's Mars Express satellite.

OG_slinger wrote:
Aaron D. wrote:

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

IIRC, during the last minutes of the landing the Curiosity Rover wasn't in direct sight of Earth. All communication was being routed through Odyssey, which was only overhead briefly. I imagine JPL simply wanted immediate visual confirmation that the rover was down and safe and the quickest and least data intensive way to do that was to send tiny black and white photos.

I also imagine that Curiosity wasn't exactly operating at 100% after spending nine months in the deep dark. I know they're going to spend the next week or so simply running systems checks, so I doubt they were maxing out their Electra UHF radio straight out of the gate.

From the Curiosity Rover Wiki page:

Curiosity can communicate with Earth directly in speeds up to 32 kbit/s, but the bulk of the data transfer should be relayed through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Odyssey orbiter, which are much more powerful and have better antennas, thus being able to communicate faster with Earth. Data transfer speeds between Curiosity and each orbiter may reach 2 Mbit/s and 256 kbit/s, respectively, but each orbiter is only able to communicate with Curiosity for about eight minutes per day.

At landing, telemetry was monitored by three orbiters, depending on their dynamic location: the Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA's Mars Express satellite.

It's a physical camera thing as well. Right after landing only the smaller, less advanced collision avoidance cameras were on (which I believe are identical to ones used on earlier orbiters). The nicer cameras aren't going to be unfolded and set up. I'm not sure of all of the reasons for that, but part of what is going on is that on sol 5 (Martian day five) they are switching the firmware over from flight mode to exploration mode. In order to save space and mass it was the Rover computer controlling the landing routine, this is the main reason that the sky crane had to crash land and not land gently off in the distance, it had plenty of fuel mass left.

It is a shame that there isn't any images or video of the sky crane deploying Curiousity. I would like to have seen that.

After the fly-away did the sky crane just crash land after a set distance?

IMAGE(http://www.johnny-five.com/images/sc2/misc/j5_and_toronto.jpg)

Nevin73 wrote:

After the fly-away did the sky crane just crash land after a set distance?

Yep. See NASA's crime scene photo for the gory details.

So cool!

I need someone to write me a script that changes my desktop to a random new mars rover picture every day.

Heads up!

I already have two different windows 7 themes from nasa space telescope images. One is from a variety of scopes, and I think the other is all Hubble. They're official themes, should be easy to find.

garion333 wrote:

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

Yuck. I can't stand Martian pron.

IMAGE(http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/674919main_pia16021-946.jpg)
IMAGE(http://talkingpointsmemo.com/images/mars-rover-gale-full.jpg)

Tanglebones wrote:

IMAGE(http://talkingpointsmemo.com/images/mars-rover-gale-full.jpg)

Please tell me those are retros' scorch marks, and not meteor impacts.

MoonDragon wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

IMAGE(http://talkingpointsmemo.com/images/mars-rover-gale-full.jpg)

Please tell me those are retros' scorch marks, and not meteor impacts.

NASA[/url]]The topography of the rim is very mountainous due to erosion. The ground seen in the middle shows low-relief scarps and plains. The foreground shows two distinct zones of excavation likely carved out by blasts from the rover's descent stage thrusters.

The heat shield image is here.

Happytime Harry wrote:

I need someone to write me a script that changes my desktop to a random new mars rover picture every day.

It's not solely rover photos, but if you're a fan of the Astronomy Picture of the Day website by NASA, there's an app here that will update your wallpaper each day to that day's picture.

TempestBlayze wrote:

IMAGE(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397673010EDR_F0010008AUT_04096M_.JPG)

Man, putting one picture of Curiousity on Curiousity wasn't enough, they needed to put two? Do they think that the Rover is going to forget what it looks like?

Although I would like to play a retro game where you played as that very pixellated rover.

Yo dawg...

From Reddit:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/rYdOJ.jpg)

That's not a pixelated rover, that's a QR code you can scan with your phone. For those on mars who have a QR code reader.

I have this desire to one day see Curiosity roll up beside Sojourner and then flash its high beams and honk the horn before peeling out when the light changes.

Lots of new images have been posted at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multime...

Here are a select few:

IMAGE(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397681520EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

IMAGE(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397681586EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

IMAGE(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397681917EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

IMAGE(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397681736EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

IMAGE(http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00002/opgs/edr/ncam/NLA_397682034EDR_F0020000AUT_04096M_.JPG)

IMAGE(http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/675227main_pia16029-full_full.jpg)

Full size version of the color panoramic image Tanglebones showed can be seen here.

Wow, these are getting better by the day. Can't wait until they bust out the plasma generating laser.

brouhaha wrote:

Wow, these are getting better by the day. Can't wait until they bust out the plasma generating laser.

+1 I am also awaiting images of when they use the laser.