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Pretty picture: Vesta's crater Aelia in high resolution

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2012

I think my favorite features on Vesta are its streaky craters. Today's image release shows one of the streakiest: Aelia, a little crater on the flank of a larger one, near Vesta's equator.

Curiosity's high-res Navcam panorama in striking color

Jason Davis • August 10, 2012

So far, the only high-resolution surface panorama we've seen from Curiosity is the black and white Navcam image. The Mastcam shot a color panorama, but the only version we have so far was created from the lower-resolution thumbnails.

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

Jason Davis • August 10, 2012

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 09, 2012

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

Curiosity Comes Cheap - Why the latest Mars rover (and all planetary exploration) is a steal

Casey Dreier • August 09, 2012

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?"

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 09, 2012

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!!

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 08, 2012

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!

Planetfest 2012 Was a Huge Success

Casey Dreier • August 08, 2012

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 07, 2012

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 07, 2012

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.

Curiosity sol 1 and planned activities for the next few sols

Emily Lakdawalla • August 07, 2012

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2012

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2012

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.

A "long" view of the Curiosity Descending image

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2012

A wider (well, longer) view of the amazing HiRISE image that shows Curiosity descending under parachute to Mars

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE has done it again!!

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2012

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.

Getting the most out of those first images from Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2012

It's such a rare joy to be able to dive into the images returned from a brand-new mission. The very first images that come to Earth and get posted on the Web are usually of relatively poor quality compared to what comes later, and Curiosity's are no exception to that rule.

We are on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2012

Somehow, it worked. Curiosity has landed on Mars, returning photos of her wheels and her shadow on a flat, pebbled plain.

Where I will be watching Curiosity's landing

Emily Lakdawalla • August 05, 2012

People have been asking how to tune in to the landing. Here's some information on how (and from where) I'll be watching tonight's events.

Curiosity: Landing minus 11 hours

Emily Lakdawalla • August 05, 2012

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.

Curiosity landing minus two days

Emily Lakdawalla • August 04, 2012

I just came out of a press briefing at JPL, on the morning of the day before Curiosity's landing. The panel seemed fairly calm -- anxious, certainly, but the happy kind of anxiety that precedes something that could be great.

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