Following the successful landing of the Curiosity rover, it is gratifying indeed to see the third MarsDial© photometric calibration (cal) target on the planet Mars. It is something near and dear to me personally, and it's good for all of us, because it helps us do good science.
Wherein I address a particular comment on my previous post calling me out for a lazy attack on "the media." I work through what I meant by media and how I think it tends to (unintentionally) misrepresent the relative cost and benefits of space missions.
A color-processed version of Curiosity's high-resolution Navcam panorama.
A recap of the final Curiosity press conference of the week: lots of updates from the entry, descent and landing (EDL) team that safely deposited the rover on Mars, as well as an overview of the rover's R10 software upgrade.
Curiosity's third day on Mars has been completed flawlessly, and the first preliminary color view from her Mastcam is lovely.
Along with any NASA mission comes the inevitable repetition of its cost and questions of its worth, Curiosity is no exception. This tired media narrative must end. The real question is not, "why so much?" but, "why so little?"
A look at the latest raw data dump from Curiosity: our first sharp view of the rover and immediate surroundings, plus 18 of the full-resolution descent imager frames are now available. Check out the gravel on Curiosity's deck!!
Curiosity fired up her Navigational Cameras on Sol 2 and began to take a look around her. The first four full-resolution frames are enough for a small 3D panorama that shows a lovely landscape. I think we're going to like it here!
Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/08/08 07:46 CDT
Planetfest 2012 ended in the best possible way: the Curiosity rover touched down safely on the surface of Mars. In our ballroom, almost two thousand people leapt to their feet and provided thunderous applause to accompany the joyous celebration at mission control.
The thumbnail versions of the Mars Descent Imager images have shown up on the Curiosity raw images page, and hiding among them was a single full-resolution frame containing the heat shield.
Today's press briefing featured the first image from MAHLI, the Mars Hand Lens Imager, so it's time for me to dive in to this camera's capabilities.
A look at the current status of Curiosity at the beginning of sol 2, and what activities to look forward to over the next few sols.
Notes on Curiosity's physical state, future activities, landing site, and other stuff gleaned from the two press briefings conducted at JPL today.
Even a preliminary, low-resolution, low-frame-rate version of Curiosity's descent imager animation of the arrival on Mars contains almost more awesome than I can stand.
In 2008, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped an amazing photo of Phoenix descending to the surface of Mars under its parachute. Now it's repeated the feat, with Curiosity.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/05 01:30 CDT
The Curiosity mission's final pre-landing press briefing wrapped up a short while ago. There wasn't much in the way of news, which is a good thing. Curiosity is healthy. Odyssey is healthy. There's not much left to do but wait.