This is awesome! The full-resolution images taken by Curiosity’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) instrument have been downloaded and assembled into a high-def video of the rover’s descent and landing on Mars. From the heat shield falling away to the final, dust-blown touchdown in Gale Crater via sky crane, we finally get a good look at what Curiosity saw when it landed on Mars at 10:31 p.m. PDT on August 5, 2012. Enjoy!
(Can’t see the video above? Click here.)
Ride along with Curiosity as it descends to the surface of Mars in this 4 fps video taken by the rover’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) camera! These images are low-resolution, the full-res versions will be available at a later date. But still the view during the rover’s harrowing descent, showing the heat shield falling away and eventually the surface rising up with dust blowing around, is an amazing and wonderful thing to watch — especially that we now know that Curiosity is performing perfectly!
This mission just never ceases to amaze…
The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity successfully landed on Mars on August 5 (PDT), to the thrill of millions around the world who watched in tense amazement as the harrowing landing sequence played out step-by-step exactly as designed, showing that we can safely place a 2-ton nuclear-powered vehicle on the surface of another planet and get photos back within minutes! The images above are the first pics from Curiosity, downlinked literally within minutes of landing. Congratulations to the MSL team at JPL and from all the science instrument teams around the world whose hard work made this happen. Go Curiosity, go NASA!
See the latest images returned from Curiosity here.
UPDATE: Here’s a clearer hazcam image from Curiosity showing the central peak of Gale crater, named “Mt. Sharp”, 6.5 km in the distance. I recolored it to look more “Marsy”, so it’s sorta kinda the type of view we might see once the rover’s Mastcam unfolds and begins taking REAL pics!
UPDATE 2: Here’s a REAL color image, the first one taken by Curiosity! It shows Gale crater’s rim in the distance… beyond a dusty lens cover. The image has been placed into context against a computer model of the terrain. More to come!
See more articles on Curiosity’s status here.
At 10:31 p.m. PDT tonight, August 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6), after nearly 9 months of travel, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (and a rover named Curiosity) will arrive at the Red Planet to explore the interior of Gale Crater and hunt for the ingredients of life. Of course, between arriving and hunting, there has to be a landing… and that’s where things are going to get a little wild.
“That’s one small step for a man… one giant leap for mankind.”
I’m not sure what else need be said about the significance of what happened on this day in 1969, 43 years ago… it was a shining moment in human history, and will be — should be — remembered forever as an example of what people can achieve when challenged, driven and inspired.
Maybe more giant leaps have been made since then, and undoubtedly more will be made in the future, but this was the first.
Read the rest of this entry
A Soyuz TMA-03M capsule descended to the steppes of Kazakhstan this morning at 4:14 a.m., returning Expedition 31 crew members Oleg Kononenko, Don Pettit and André Kuipers to Earth after 193 days working aboard the Space Station.
The dramatic photo above was captured by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls, showing the Soyuz vehicle as it parachuted down through the clouds.
More photos below…
“When people look at it, it looks crazy. It’s a very natural thing. Sometimes when we look at it it looks crazy. It is the result of reason, engineering, thought… but it still looks crazy.”
– Adam Steltzner, EDL Engineer
On August 5, after nearly 9 months of travel, Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) will arrive at Mars to explore the inside of Gale Crater and hunt for evidence of an ancient ocean. Of course, between arriving and hunting, there has to be a landing… and that’s where things are going to get a little wild.