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Blog Archive

 

Checking in on Curiosity after sol 30

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/06 03:54 CDT | 4 comments

Curiosity completed the "Intermission" phase on sol 29, and began checking out the robotic arm.

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HiRISE's best view of Curiosity yet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/31 12:50 CDT | 10 comments

HiRISE's best opportunity to view Curiosity so far came 12 days after landing, when the orbiter passed nearly directly overhead. The photo resolves amazing detail on the huge rover.

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Manned Missions to Mars Aren't Just Sci-Fi

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2012/08/24 06:09 CDT | 9 comments

Space exploration is not just valuable to scientists; it is also popular with the public who pays taxes. And why not? The exploration of Mars is not only a search for signs of alien life. It is an exploration of the human future.

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Explaining the new black-and-white Mastcam and MARDI raw images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/24 05:05 CDT | 2 comments

If you've been obsessively checking the Curiosity raw images websites for new pictures from Mars, you might have noticed something weird: a bunch of Mastcam images and a few from MARDI that are black-and-white instead of color, and which have a peculiar checkerboard pattern.

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The definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/23 06:15 CDT | 8 comments

The top of the mountain has finally been filled in, and Damien Bouic has produced what I think is the definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama.

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We're going back to Mars in 2016!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/08/20 03:57 CDT | 9 comments

Today, NASA announced the newest Discovery-class mission, a Mars lander called InSight. It's not a rover; it's a drill that will go down 5 meters and help us figure out what happens in the core of our neighboring terrestrial planet.

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The first Curiosity 360-degree panorama including the mountain

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/18 10:45 CDT | 8 comments

Damien Bouic took Curiosity's Hazcam images of Aeolis Mons / Mount Sharp and merged them with a beautiful 360-degree Navcam panorama to give us our first look at what the view will look like once the mission finally gets higher-resolution images that include the mountain's peak.

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Curiosity sol 11 update: Decision to drive to "the high thermal inertia unit" and what that means

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/17 06:06 CDT | 8 comments

Some notes from this morning's Curiosity press briefing: the rover will be driving to "Glenelg" to investigate the "high thermal inertia unit." I explain what that means, with psychedelic Odyssey THEMIS images of the landing site.

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Some fun with Curiosity MARDI images

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/16 11:36 CDT | 9 comments

Yesterday Curiosity returned a pile of full-resolution descent imager photos to Earth. The full-resolution MARDI images are just as great as we anticipated.

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Curiosity's Marsdial is on Mars!

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/08/14 04:24 CDT | 6 comments

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.

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Curiosity's high-res Navcam panorama in striking color

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/10 07:10 CDT | 4 comments

A color-processed version of Curiosity's high-resolution Navcam panorama.

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Curiosity sol 4: EDL updates, rover ready for software upgrade

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/10 05:16 CDT | 3 comments

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.

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Curiosity sol 3: First Mastcam color thumbnails down, everything "flawless," "nominal"

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/09 03:25 CDT | 13 comments

Curiosity's third day on Mars has been completed flawlessly, and the first preliminary color view from her Mastcam is lovely.

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Curiosity: Most of sol 2 Navcam panorama, plus 18 full-res Descent Imager frames available

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/09 12:48 CDT | 10 comments

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!!

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Grab your 3D glasses for this view of Curiosity's landscape on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/08 09:58 CDT | 4 comments

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!

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Planetfest 2012 Was a Huge Success

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.

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First full-resolution MARDI frame: Bye-bye, heat shield

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/07 11:50 CDT | 11 comments

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.

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Curiosity's MAHLI camera: Much more than a microscopic imager

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/07 06:19 CDT | 3 comments

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.

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Curiosity: Notes from the two day-after-landing press briefings

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/06 07:43 CDT | 7 comments

Notes on Curiosity's physical state, future activities, landing site, and other stuff gleaned from the two press briefings conducted at JPL today.

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First look at Curiosity MARDI's descent animation (WOW WOW)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/08/06 07:09 CDT | 5 comments

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.

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