NASA Curiosity Visual Tour: Mars, Revealed - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile
News
8/10/2012
01:15 PM
Elena Malykhina
Elena Malykhina
Slideshows
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
7 Key Cloud Security Trends Shaping 2017 & Beyond
Dec 15, 2016
Cloud computing is enabling business transformation as organizations accelerate time to market and ...Read More>>

NASA Curiosity Visual Tour: Mars, Revealed

NASA's car-like Curiosity rover beams back views from the Red Planet, revealing the most detailed depiction of Mars surface to date.
Previous
1 of 14
Next


Just days into its mission, NASA's Curiosity rover has begun sending back dozens of snapshots of its surroundings on Mars. The pictures range from low-resolution, black-and-white images to full color, 360-degree panoramas.

Curiosity is equipped with 17 cameras, including a mast camera (Mastcam), navigation cameras (Navcams), and hazard-avoidance cameras (Hazcams). Two hours after landing on Mars on Aug. 6, it sent back its first grainy images, taken with its front and rear Hazcams.

The rover is performing "very well" and has already transmitted a "plethora" of images and other data, NASA said in an Aug. 9 update. The flight team plans a software upgrade to optimize Curiosity for surface operations.

In a series of system checks during its first week, Curiosity's Mastcam showed that it can swivel 360 degrees, while its specialized equipment--including the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, Chemistry and Mineralogy Analyzer, Sample Analysis at Mars, and Dynamic Albedo Neutrons instruments--all checked out.

NASA scientists have begun creating a 150-square-mile geological map within the Gale Crater where Curiosity landed. They have divided the area being mapped into 151 quadrangles of one square mile each. Curiosity landed at the foot of Mt. Sharp, which is three miles tall and 96 miles across and located inside the Gale Crater. "We want to choose a route to Mt. Sharp that makes good progress toward the destination while allowing important science observations along the way," said Dawn Sumner of the University of California, Davis, and a member of the Curiosity science team.

Curiosity is exploring Gale Crater, and documenting what it "sees" in images of remarkable detail. Some Navcam images have been stitched together to create panoramic images, while others reveal Martian pebbles, one centimeter in size, that settled on the rover's deck. The images "show us that the rocket engines on our descent stage kicked up some material from the surface of Mars," said Mike Watkins, Curiosity mission manager, in NASA's Aug. 9 update. He said the rocks present no immediate problems for mission operations.

Images of Gale Crater include a 360-degree view that reveals Mars' different shades and textures, and a full-res panorama of Curiosity itself.

Curiosity also carries 10 science instruments, including tools for gathering rocks and soil samples, processing them, and distributing them to test chambers onboard. The main mission of the rover, which is part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, is to assess the habitability of the planet.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Previous
1 of 14
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll