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Emily LakdawallaAugust 6, 2012

A "long" view of the Curiosity Descending image

I thought you guys would enjoy this. The HiRISE team has released the full-resolution, not-map-projected version of the photo they took of Curiosity descending under parachute. The full version may be downloaded here (scroll to "descent long view"). If you download the whole thing, you'll notice it's made up of a number of strips that aren't perfectly aligned. That alignment will take time, for reasons explained by Timothy Reed in a blog entry he wrote about the HiRISE imaging of Phoenix. In the meantime, I've sliced out the strip that contains Curiosity, and am presenting it here at half its full scale. Here is the full-scale version of the image below in JPG format (about 5 MB). But before I do that, look, it's the heat shield!

Curiosity's heat shield falling toward Mars

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Emily Lakdawalla

Curiosity's heat shield falling toward Mars
A color MARDI image from the descent sequence shows the heat shield falling far below the rover. It was taken Sol 0 (2012-08-06 05:15:39 UTC).

OK, now for that strip containing the spacecraft:

Full HiRISE image strip of Curiosity's descent

Read more: pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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