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Mars Science Lab and Mars Curiosity landing
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Mars Science Lab and Mars Curiosity landing

  #51 (permalink)
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A longer replay of entry/descent/landing:



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  #52 (permalink)
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Thanks for the thread. I watched this while trading last night. I have a Mech Eng background so I love all this stuff.....

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  #53 (permalink)
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NASA is broadcasting a live event about something from 150 million+ miles away from Earth with less delay than NBC is with the Olympics.

Mike

Yeah, and Bob Costas just signed a multi-year deal and will be hosting NASA missions instead of the Olympics. Apparently, they clinched the deal by allowing him to have his body frozen and sent into space when he dies.

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  #54 (permalink)
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This just in, futures.io (formerly BMT) has exclusive photos from Curiosity!

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Mike

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  #55 (permalink)
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New panorama photo:

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Mike

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  #56 (permalink)
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Awesome photos. Hope they drive Curiosity to the Cydonia area someday.


Last edited by Cloudy; August 9th, 2012 at 03:46 PM.
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  #57 (permalink)
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Checking out the Rover Deck in Full Resolution
This full-resolution self-portrait shows the deck of NASA's Curiosity rover from the rover's Navigation cameras. The back of the rover can be seen at the top left of the image, and two of the rover's right side wheels can be seen on the left. Part of the pointy rim of Gale Crater forms the lighter color strip in the background. Bits of gravel, about 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) in size, are visible on the deck of the rover.

This mosaic is made of eight images, each of 1,024 by 1,024 pixels, taken late at night on Aug. 7 PDT (early morning Aug. 8 EDT). It uses an average of the Navcam positions to synthesize the point of view of a single camera, with a field of view of 120 degrees. Seams between the images have been minimized, but a few are still visible. The wide field of view introduces some distortion at the edges of the mosaic.

The "augmented reality" or AR tag seen in the middle of the image can be used in the future with smart phones to obtain more information about the mission.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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  #58 (permalink)
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Poll closed, results:

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Mike

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  #59 (permalink)
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Source: Curiosity's camera project leader explains 2-megapixel choice | The Verge


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Chances are good that if you bought a cellphone within the last five years, its camera shoots higher resolution images than those on NASA's Curiosity rover. But in case you forgot, megapixel counts only tell part of the story, and thereís a lot more behind the choice of sensors in Curiosityís Mastcams than you might guess.

YOU THOUGHT YOUR DATA CAP WAS BAD

Here on Earth, we've grown accustomed to throwing around high-res photos on fast wireless broadband networks, but in order for Curiosity to send images home it needs to rely on plain old UHF, explains the camera projectís manager Mike Ravine to Digital Photography Review. So while a 5GB monthly data cap on your cellphone plan might seem restrictive, Curiosity can only transmit about 31.25MB per day, or less than a gigabyte per month, and that quota has to cover readings from a bunch of other instruments on board. Still, even despite the low bandwidth the team might have gone with higher resolution sensors if the specs for the project hadnít been settled on eight years ago.

Another big consideration was the sensorsí reliability and the teamís familiarity with them. The same Kodak Kai-2020 sensor is in four different cameras on the rover, giving the team a common platform to work with. "Theyíre a very easy CCD to drive," explains Ravine. And while todayís cellphone cameras get great results with low-power CMOS chips, "the state of CMOS sensors wasnít credible in 2004," says Ravine.

Despite the camerasí comparatively low resolution, many photos can be stitched together to create panoramas, just like todayís 360 degree capture of Gale Crater below, the first to make it back from Curiosity. It's just too bad the concerns about wet lubricants kept James Cameron's dream of zoom lenses (and 3D movies from Mars) grounded.

Mike

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Mars Science Laboratory: Images

First High-Resolution Color Mosaic of Curiosity's Mastcam Images (White-balanced)
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

(right click, "save link/target as") to view

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Mars Science Lab and Mars Curiosity landing-pia16051_figure_1_raw_white-full.jpg   Mars Science Lab and Mars Curiosity landing-pia16051_figure_1_raw_smaller-full.jpg  
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