Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE has done it again!!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
06-08-2012 10:42 CDT
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. I think this image pretty much speaks for itself. Absolutely stunning.
For more on how this image was taken -- and how hard it was -- check out Eric Hand's article at Nature News.
I want you to sit back and think about what was going on when this was taken. Both spacecraft were operating totally autonomously, based upon commands uplinked to them a long time before. (Some timing parameters were updated hours before.) This is a spaceship at Mars, and we have a photo of it in action, just minutes before its historic landing. Incredible.
This image leaked before it should have. There's a press briefing coming up in 16 minutes (as I write this). I hope to see a wider view of it at the briefing. Stay tuned!