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

  #71 (permalink)
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Catalog Page for PIA16075

This composite image, with magnified insets, depicts the first laser test by the Chemistry and Camera, or ChemCam, instrument aboard NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. The composite incorporates a Navigation Camera image taken prior to the test, with insets taken by the camera in ChemCam. The circular insert highlights the rock before the laser test. The square inset is further magnified and processed to show the difference between images taken before and after the laser interrogation of the rock.
The test took place on Aug. 19, 2012.

In the composite, the fist-sized rock, called "Coronation," is highlighted. Coronation is the first rock on any extraterrestrial planet to be investigated with such a laser test.

The widest context view in this composite comes from Curiosity's Navigation Camera. The magnified views in the insets come from ChemCam's camera, the Remote Micro-Imager. The area shown in the circular inset is 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) in diameter. It was taken before the rock was hit with the laser. The area covered in the further-magnified square inset is 8 millimeters (about one-third of an inch) across. It combines information from images taken before and after the test, subtracting the "before" image from the "after" image to make the changes in the rock visible.

Curiosity's Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCam) inaugurated use of its laser when it used the beam to investigate Coronation during Curiosity's 13th day after landing.

ChemCam hit Coronation with 30 pulses of its laser during a 10-second period. Each pulse delivered more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second. The energy from the laser excited atoms in the rock into an ionized, glowing plasma. ChemCam also caught the light from that spark with a telescope and analyzed it with three spectrometers for information about what elements are in the target.

This initial use of the laser on Mars served as target practice for characterizing the instrument but may provide additional value. Researchers will check whether the composition changed as the pulses progressed. If it did change, that could indicate dust or other surface material being penetrated to reveal different composition beneath the surface.

ChemCam was developed, built and tested by the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in partnership with scientists and engineers funded by France's national space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and research agency, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project, including Curiosity, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the rover.

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  #72 (permalink)
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Wheel test before the first test drive:

NASA - Wiggle in the Gravel

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This set of images shows the movement of the rear right wheel of NASA's Curiosity as rover drivers turned the wheels in place at the landing site on Mars. Engineers wiggled the wheels as a test of the rover's steering and anticipate embarking on Curiosity's first drive in the next couple of days. This image was taken by one of Curiosity's Navigation cameras on Aug. 21.

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  #73 (permalink)
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Video of descent as seen from Mars Lander



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  #74 (permalink)
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First telephoto pic, it is panoramic and very wide, some browsers may not support it (blank image).

The image is 40MB. So I've zipped it to attach it. You should view it in a photo viewer where you can zoom.

Below is a thumbnail version:

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Register to download File Type: zip 681008main_pia16101-20000px.zip (36.88 MB, 9 views)
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  #75 (permalink)
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Layers at the Base of Mount Sharp
A chapter of the layered geological history of Mars is laid bare in this postcard from NASA's Curiosity rover. The image shows the base of Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual science destination.

This image is a portion of a larger image taken by Curiosity's 100-millimeter Mast Camera on Aug. 23, 2012. See PIA16104. Scientists enhanced the color in one version to show the Martian scene under the lighting conditions we have on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain.

For scale, an annotated version of the figure highlights a dark rock that is approximately the same size as Curiosity. The pointy mound in the center of the image, looming above the rover-sized rock, is about 1,000 feet (300 meters) across and 300 feet (100 meters) high.

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  #76 (permalink)
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I wonder if we'll actually be able to explore in space like our science fiction pretends. As in our science fiction is our concept of what we are and what our science is. When we look at past future extrapolations they are nothing like the present.

So the question becomes, are we tied to the Earth by an inseperable, uncuttable, umbilical cord, in a TOTALLY symbiotic relationship, or can we actually populate other worlds? Of course we'd have to find a habitable world first for that to happen and for the question to have meaning. How long are we capable of living within the confines of a spacecraft? A completely human fabricated environment. It is an illusion, IMO, we are no more capable of living and surviving in a human fabricated environment than are the animals at the zoo.

All this isn't to say I don't find the Mars exploration of incredible interest and can't help but be in awe of the explorations ahead for humanity in this solar system. I download all the pictures to my computer. Just musing. Personally I believe Man is missing WAY too much. He has pissed on and destroyed and erased thousands of years of cultural knowledge from all over the world about what dwells on this planet. And now in a final gasp is throwing all his marbles into technology. He won't make it.

Sorry, felt I needed to add something. I'm not meaning to suggest that it is this one thing I am referring to when I speak of one last gasp. Not at all. I mean everything. That technological push that started in the last century. I wasn't trying to condemn anything. If some one thought so. I apologize. I am reflecting that while our technology apparently is coming of age for many things, it also appears to be out of control elsewhere.

(Of course symbiotic would mean that the Earth gets some benefit from us being here as well. We get survival, and the Earth gets..?)


Last edited by Coast; August 28th, 2012 at 03:09 AM.
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  #77 (permalink)
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Coast View Post
I wonder if we'll actually be able to explore in space like our science fiction pretends. As in our science fiction is our concept of what we are and what our science is. When we look at past future extrapolations they are nothing like the present. ...

(Of course symbiotic would mean that the Earth gets some benefit from us being here as well. We get survival, and the Earth gets..?)

Great points in light of a science-fiction view. I would very much hope mankind would be allowed to explore expand and live first throughout the solar system, then one day the stars through wormhole or blackhole technology. A first step could be terraforming Mars. i.e. "Green Mars". Star Trek has made it too easy looking with "type 2 civilization" almost magical technology and a utopian , economically trouble free society. Finding diamonds on Europa "2063: Odyssey 2" or gold elsewhere and developments of free or alternate energy and nanotechnology could help solve the world's financial problems and have mankind looking beyond petty hoarding of resources and power to acquire resources ("money").

Unfortunately, it may be mankind is limited by design to Earth. We have the limitation of the speed of light (which the HFT highwaymen are literally taking advantage of by parking their servers physically closer to the exchanges haha). The solar system is a strange , seemingly by design system of a singular instead of the more common binary star system, with a big convenient mass catcher, Jupiter ( which failed to implode itself into a second star), which absorbed cometary fragments (1997?)that could have blown up the Earth several times over. And then the strange singular satellite i.e. the Moon. Conditions may be only right for human life on Earth in the universe. And any other life found elsewhere could just be microbial life spread out from Earth's atmosphere by passing asteroids and meteors and comets. (or purposely placed elsewhere for deception purposes.) In the movie "Red Planet" , the Terrance Stamp("Zod" in Superman II) character on pondering the mysteries of the universe said he later turned to faith for answers after a life in science. (Why IS Mars such a dead planet? Why didn't water and air from on it like Earth? or maybe it "used" to have oceans and "canals". ) Closest to Earth in it's orbital distance from the sun, smaller but similar class in mass and gravity, albeit with a wierder orbit and a wierd asteroid-moon of Phobos (www.enterprisemission.com) and a bunch of asteroids nearby looking like a Death Star blasted apart a planet long long ago..)

Like that photo of the erosion on Mars is just awesome, wondrous and goosebumb inducing, but scary in a ways. It could be seen conceptually as former civilizations turned to salt, dust and ashes like God's wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah. In "Rama Revealed", the last in the series of the original classic "Rendevouz with Rama" it was revealed to the protagonist the giant Rama craft were all powerful tools of God literally to collate data to recreate the universe into a better one.

Extraterrestial life? UFO's? Strange magical lights defying the laws of physics or using some "other dimensional" physics? Could be these "beings of light" are what they claimed to be to abductees and/or "channelers", from the other star systems of the Pleiades or some such nonsense we see and hear about on those late night tv and radio shows. ("Coast to Coast AM", "History Channel: Ancient Aliens series") Or they could be the first beings that were made before mankind. Beings of unimaginable power both in the spirit and physical realms. But a third of the host rebelled and are now continuing the process of deceiving mankind in the last days on physical Earth. It may be very soon, the Antichrist will reveal himself, magically solve the world's problems, and force everyone to take the marks (facebook chips) and worship him only.

Anyways, to sum up my rambling, it would be awesome to see what's really out there, Mars or beyond. Hopefully with permission and a chance for mankind to redeem itself and acquire more resources, and not in a deceived way to doom more souls.


Last edited by Cloudy; August 29th, 2012 at 03:05 AM.
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Are these our Martian overlords ... or just 'dead pixels' of a camera? Images beamed back from Curiosity lead to talk of UFOs on Mars | Mail Online

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People have too much free time on their hands.

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@Cloudy.

Thanks for sharing.

Those UFOs could be momentum dots or buy and sell signals. Watch out, it may show up somewhere as an indicator for sale.

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