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  Curiosity to Mars: Viewing, questions, comments (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   Curiosity to Mars: Viewing, questions, comments
Fezman92
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posted 08-10-2012 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is really cool but a bit odd seeing them as thumbnails but I know that we will be getting high-res photos soon. Either way it is so amazing!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-11-2012 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We can now see Curiosity's surroundings in high resolution color. Meanwhile, the rover is undergoing a 'brain transplant' this weekend.

DChudwin
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posted 08-14-2012 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some great new images of Curiosity in Gale Crater taken by the orbiting MRO.

There is also a new amateur video which combines the descent photos, mission commentary, and a timeline of events.

Fezman92
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posted 08-15-2012 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On twitter the official MSL account tweeted that tomorrow (Aug 16th) at 11am (EST) there will be an 'AMA' (ask me anything) on Reddit. No word on any names. Also as a sidebar Brent Spinner will be doing on at 5pm (EST) tomorrow as well.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-17-2012 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can read the full Reddit AMA here. They are planning another AMA with the science team soon.

Speaking of the science team, they have started naming the features revealed in the images sent back by Curiosity and which aretargets for the rover to explore. The theme: northwest Canadian geological regions and formations.

Scott
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posted 08-17-2012 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A new amateur video created using the high-res MARDI descent images received to date. Set the resolution to 1080p for best quality.

Another new video, of the heat shield impact.

(Updated first video with newer version containing more frames.)

sev8n
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posted 08-17-2012 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting article on dpreview.com about why Curiosity's digital camera sensors are "only" 2 MP in resolution.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-19-2012 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Curiosity's ChemCam has zapped its first target with its laser, a rock named "Coronation."

The rock was previously referred to as N165, and has its own Twitter account.

DChudwin
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posted 08-24-2012 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JPL has released the high resolution images of Curiosity's descent to Mars on August 5 (PDT) from the MARDI camera. The resulting video reminds me of the Apollo lunar module landing videos with the dust at the end (just in living color and with much greater detail).

Rusty B
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posted 08-29-2012 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have any Mars missions taken pictures of the Martian moons from the surface of Mars?

It would be interesting to see one or two of the Martian moons hanging above the horizon of Mars in a blue sky.

SkyMan1958
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posted 08-29-2012 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It wouldn't be blue. The color of the Martian sky is somewhat pinkish...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-29-2012 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Spirit and Opportunity: Additional images from the surface of Phobos and Deimos can be found here, including eclipses.

DChudwin
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posted 09-03-2012 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stunning interactive panorama from high-resolution images from Curiosity. Be sure to click on the "full screen" feature. Probably the closest feeling to actually being in Gale Crater.

Lunar_module_5
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posted 09-03-2012 04:04 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stunning!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-10-2012 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Los Angeles Times reports about the controversy that could be triggered if Curiosity finds water in Gale Crater.
For all the hopes NASA has pinned on the rover it deposited on Mars last month, one wish has gone unspoken: Please don't find water.

Scientists don't believe they will. They chose the cold, dry equatorial landing site in Mars' Gale Crater for its geology, not its prospects for harboring water or ice, which exist elsewhere on the planet.

But if by chance the rover Curiosity does find H2O, a controversy that has simmered at NASA for nearly a year will burst into the open. Curiosity's drill bits may be contaminated with Earth microbes. If they are, and if those bits touch water, the organisms could survive.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 09-10-2012 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not quite as bad as confusing metric and imperial measurements, but a close second.

MCroft04
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posted 10-02-2012 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't believe no one has posted about the stream bed found by Curiosity (conglomerates). What is really neat is that profound conclusions are being made based on relatively basic geological observations. You gotta love this stuff!

328KF
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posted 10-03-2012 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just imagine what one appropriately trained field geologist could find around there in a fraction of the time it takes to command a robot from point A to point B.

The finding was indeed big news when it happened ...even on the TV news. I would assume that Robert would have done a feature story on it had he not been so busy with his excellent coverage of Endeavour's ferry flight.

While it was exciting, I honestly didn't find it very surprising. The team selected the site fully expecting to find something like this based upon the evidence from overhead photos. Water ice has already been found in the polar region.

Chad Myers on CNN gets very excited about this stuff and does a great job communicating the importance to viewers. However, he went a little overboard during the landing coverage when he virtually guaranteed that Curiosity would find evidence of life there. I think he may have even tossed around the phrase "dinosaur bones"

Now that would be surprising!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-03-2012 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
I would assume that Robert would have done a feature story on it had he not been so busy with his excellent coverage of Endeavour's ferry flight.
It was a bit on the science-heavy side, and as I understand it was less a discovery than a confirmation of what we knew was already there, but yes, I probably would have written a dedicated article on the stream bed.

Instead, I posted it as an update to our Curiosity feature page.

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-21-2012 06:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to several news reports, NASA is expected to make an announcement of an exciting discovery detected by Curiosity's Sample Analysis of Mars (SAM) instrument (possibly confirmation of organics).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-21-2012 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The so-called discovery "for the history books," will be announced during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, which takes place Dec. 3-7 in San Francisco, according to Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-21-2012 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jet Propulsion Laboratory spokesman Guy Webster clarified the nature of the pending announcement in an e-mail to TIME magazine:
"As for history books, the whole mission is for the history books," he wrote. That's not to say he rules out the possibility of truly big news. "It won't be earthshaking," he said in a later phone call, "but it will be interesting."

And as for the scoop the NPR reporter and [Huffington Post] announced? "John [Grotzinger] was excited about the quality and range of information coming in from SAM during the day a reporter happened to be sitting in John’s office last week," Webster wrote. "He has been similarly excited by results at other points during the mission so far."

DChudwin
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posted 11-28-2012 07:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a New York Times article by Kenneth Chang:
Fossils? Living microbial Martians? Maybe the carbon-based molecules known as organics, which are the building blocks of life? That so much excitement could be set off by a passing hint reflects the enduring fascination of both scientists and nonscientists with Mars.

"It could be all kinds of things," said Peter H. Smith, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona who was the principal investigator for NASA's earlier Phoenix Mars mission but is not involved with Curiosity. "If it's historic, I think it's organics. That would be historic in my book."

Dr. Grotzinger and other Curiosity scientists will announce their latest findings on Monday in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Do not expect pictures of Martians, though.

Guy Webster, a spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which operates Curiosity, said the findings would be "interesting" rather than "earthshaking."

Mr. Webster noted that "a really big announcement," if one should occur, would most likely be made at NASA headquarters in Washington and not at an academic conference.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-28-2012 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Curiosity has not made an "earthshaking" discovery; it was a misunderstanding, Mashable reports.
The quote heard around the world came shortly after Grotzinger explained that NASA had just received the initial data from Curiosity's first soil experiment using a new Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, which is capable of identifying organic compounds.

Naturally, the public assumed that this meant Curiosity had discovered a complex organic molecule. But while NASA does have the latest soil samples, the mission team tells Mashable that researchers haven't determined that particular groundbreaking discovery. In fact the rover drove away from the location just five days later, taking more samples along the way.

What Grotzinger was actually trying to convey is that Curiosity's data over her entire two-year mission will further our knowledge of Mars more than ever before, making it a historical mission.

...As for Grotzinger's comment about checking and re-checking the data before releasing it to the public, that's just standard scientific procedure. This is especially true when it's the first set of data from a new instrument.

In the meantime, Curiosity is up for Person of the Year by TIME Magazine. You can vote here, if you feel the rover deserves the honor.

mikepf
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posted 11-28-2012 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just hope they aren't pulling a Donald Trump on us!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-30-2012 12:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA statement:
The next news conference about the NASA Mars rover Curiosity will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3, in San Francisco at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect. The news conference will be an update about first use of the rover's full array of analytical instruments to investigate a drift of sandy soil. One class of substances Curiosity is checking for is organic compounds -- carbon-containing chemicals that can be ingredients for life. At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics.

The Mars Science Laboratory Project and its Curiosity rover are less than four months into a two-year prime mission to investigate whether conditions in Mars' Gale Crater may have been favorable for microbial life. Curiosity is exceeding all expectations for a new mission with all of the instruments and measurement systems performing well. This is spectacular for such a complex system, and one that is operated so far away on Mars by people here on planet Earth. The mission already has found an ancient riverbed on the Red Planet, and there is every expectation for remarkable discoveries still to come.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-03-2012 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, have shown up in samples that Curiosity's arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover.
"We have no definitive detection of Martian organics at this point, but we will keep looking in the diverse environments of Gale Crater," said SAM Principal Investigator Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

SkyMan1958
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posted 12-03-2012 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This whole thing about "earth-shaking" discovery transforming into a relatively mundane chemical composition of the soil leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Obviously it does not matter to the scientific community, but words like earth-shaking should not be used around the press unless there really is some important discovery. This is the sort of thing that hurts NASA in the public's eye. Here's NASA's biggest PR success in years and some bozo screws it up.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-03-2012 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
...words like earth-shaking should not be used around the press
It wasn't NASA that used "earth-shaking," it was NPR that used that word to describe what Grotzinger said in their reporter's presence. However, he acknowledged today a lesson learned:
"You have to be careful about what you say and even more careful about how you say it."

"We're doing science at the speed of science in a world that goes at the speed of Instagrams. The enthusiasm that our team has is just misunderstood."

gliderpilotuk
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posted 04-27-2013 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a photo of Curiosity's track patterns, published on the robotics section of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory site, the Mars rover appears to have traced out a very phallic design on the Red Planet's dusty surface.

Accident or a prank?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-27-2013 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To quote Alan Boyle at NBC News:
But this picture isn't the product of a bored (or filthy-minded) rover driver, and it wasn't beamed down recently. It's part of a classic nine-year-old panorama from NASA's Spirit rover, looking back toward its landing platform. (You can actually see the platform in the high-resolution version of the panorama.)

This type of rover wheel-track pattern, which could euphemistically be called "a bat and two balls," has been left on Mars many times, not only by Spirit (which gave up the ghost in 2010 or so), but also by Opportunity (which is still going strong more than nine years after landing on Mars) and Curiosity (which landed last year).

All those rovers have six wheels, three on each side, and they leave behind two parallel tracks when they're traveling in a straight line. When the rover has to make a turn, the wheels rotate in place to put the robot in the desired direction for the next leg of its trek. If the turn is significant enough, you get a nice set of circles at the end of a pair of parallel tracks.

cspg
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posted 04-27-2013 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
Accident or a prank?
Some folks are really twisted!

BUT I finally understood the "joke" on a French TV show the other day showing the picture. Thanks.

SkyMan1958
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posted 05-02-2013 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a recent article in the BBC Science section about driving rovers on Mars (...and it has nothing to do with leaving patterns).

DChudwin
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posted 08-03-2013 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a nice summary of the top five scientific results from Curiosity over the last year.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-05-2013 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA video release
Happy Birthday, Curiosity!

NASA's Curiosity rover celebrates its Martian birthday on August 5 (PDT), the day that it landed on Mars. In honor of this special occasion, engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center are using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to "sing" Happy Birthday to Curiosity.

SpaceAholic
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posted 08-30-2013 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shot taken by MSL of Phobos eclipsing the sun.

SpaceAholic
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posted 04-08-2014 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
MSL has apparently captured an anomaly on the Martian surface which appears to be an artificial light source.
A NASA camera on Mars has captured what appears to be artificial light emanating outward from the planet's surface.

The photo, beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was taken last week, apparently by one of two NASA rovers on the red planet.

Although the space agency hasn't issued any official statement yet about the phenomenon, bloggers and NASA enthusiasts have started chiming in.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-08-2014 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "light" has been identified by multiple sources as a "cosmic ray hit" affecting the rover.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-08-2014 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Or, maybe not.
[Justin Maki, an imaging scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who is the lead for Curiosity's engineering cameras] isn't writing off the phenomenon as a double-shot of cosmic rays or data dropouts — even though other experts went to that explanation immediately. In his view, that spot of light really did enter Curiosity's right-hand navigation camera, even though there's no sign of the spot in the stereo imagery from the left-hand camera.

Instead, Maki and his colleagues think it's either a well-placed flash of reflected sunlight, or light shining through a chink in Curiosity's camera housing.

Solarplexus
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posted 04-10-2014 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Solarplexus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Images taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on April 2 and April 3, 2014 include bright spots, which MIGHT be due to the sun glinting off a rock or cosmic rays striking the camera's detector. Or?

More info here.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


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