Author Topic: Mars Rover Curiosity  (Read 75682 times)

subro

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2012, 05:15:21 PM »
I heard this on NPR today. The Rover’s flight director’s family has switched over to living on Martian time. Their days are 40 min longer then Earth’s…

Since the landing of NASA's newest Mars rover, flight director David Oh's family has taken the unusual step of tagging along as he leaves Earth time behind and syncs his body clock with the red planet.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=159227148

His Son is 13 years old and is keeping a blog documenting their life on the Mars calendar, e.g. bowling at 4 am, etc. It’s a fun read.

http://marstimr.tumblr.com/

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2012, 07:29:14 AM »
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1321

Quote
08.21.2012
NASA's Curiosity Studies Mars Surroundings, Nears Drive

PASADENA, Calif. - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has been investigating the Martian weather around it and the soil beneath it, as its controllers prepare for the car-size vehicle's first drive on Mars.
The rover's weather station, provided by Spain, checks air temperature, ground temperature, air pressure, wind and other variables every hour at the landing site in Gale Crater. On a typical Martian day, or "sol," based on measurements so far in the two-week old mission, air temperatures swing from 28 degrees to minus 103 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2 to minus 75 Celsius). Ground temperatures change even more between afternoon and pre-dawn morning, from 37 degrees to minus 132 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to minus 91 Celsius).

"We will learn about changes from day to day and season to season," said Javier Gómez-Elvira of the Centro de Astrobiología, Madrid, Spain, principal investigator for the suite of weather sensors called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS).

Within a week or so, daily Mars weather reports from Curiosity will become available at:

http://cab.inta-csic.es/rems/marsweather.html or bit.ly/RzQe6p .

One of the two sets of REMS wind sensors is not providing data. "One possibility is that pebbles lofted during the landing hit the delicate circuit boards on one of the two REMS booms," said Curiosity Deputy Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We will have to be more clever about using the remaining wind sensor to get wind speed and direction."

An instrument provided by Russia is checking for water bound into minerals in the top three feet (one meter) of soil beneath the rover. It employs a technology that is used in oil prospecting on Earth, but had never before been sent to another planet.

"Curiosity has begun shooting neutrons into the ground," said Igor Mitrofanov of Space Research Institute, Moscow, principal investigator for this instrument, called the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons, or DAN. "We measure the amount of hydrogen in the soil by observing how the neutrons are scattered, and hydrogen on Mars is an indicator of water."

The most likely hydrogen to be found in shallow ground of Gale Crater, near the Martian equator, is in hydrated minerals. These are minerals with water molecules, or related ions, bound into the crystalline structure of rocks. They can tenaciously retain water from a wetter past after all free water has gone.

Curiosity will soon have a different patch of ground beneath it. Today, the six-wheeled rover wiggled its four corner wheels side to side for the first time on Mars, as a test of the steering actuators on those wheels. This was critical preparation for Curiosity's first drive on Mars.

"Late tonight, we plan to send Curiosity the commands for doing our first drive tomorrow," said Curiosity Mission Manager Michael Watkins of JPL.

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft delivered Curiosity to Mars on Aug. 5, PDT (Aug. 6, EDT). In a two-year prime mission researchers are using the rover's 10 instruments to assess whether the selected study area has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life and for preserving evidence about whether life has existed.

The mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of Caltech.
More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/msl .
You can follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosityand on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .

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Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Guy Webster / D.C. Agle 818-354-6278 / 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov / agle@jpl.nasa.gov

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Dog Walker

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2012, 09:13:18 AM »
Somehow the hokey pokey song comes to mind. 
When all else fails hug the dog.

Jason

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2012, 01:24:44 PM »

subro

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2012, 03:33:34 PM »
This video makes the Rover landing accomplishment even that much more impressive...

Watching this amazing high-definition video of Curiosity’s hair-raising landing on Mars will make you clutch at your armrest. Compiled from the probe’s MARDI descent camera, it is the best landing video yet and gives you a chance to experience what it’s like to ride along with the rover down to the Martian surface.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/hd-curiosity-landing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #50 on: August 23, 2012, 08:37:34 AM »
Quote
08.22.2012
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA Mars Rover Begins Driving At Bradbury Landing

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has begun driving from its landing site, which scientists announced today they have named for the late author Ray Bradbury.
Making its first movement on the Martian surface, Curiosity's drive combined forward, turn and reverse segments. This placed the rover roughly 20 feet (6 meters) from the spot where it landed 16 days ago.

NASA has approved the Curiosity science team's choice to name the landing ground for the influential author, who was born 92 years ago today and died this year. The location where Curiosity touched down is now called Bradbury Landing.

"This was not a difficult choice for the science team," said Michael Meyer, NASA program scientist for Curiosity. "Many of us and millions of other readers were inspired in our lives by stories Ray Bradbury wrote to dream of the possibility of life on Mars."After the Laser ShotsImages taken before and after NASA's Curiosity rover shot its laser 50 times are shown here.

Today's drive confirmed the health of Curiosity's mobility system and produced the rover's first wheel tracks on Mars, documented in images taken after the drive. During a news conference today at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the mission's lead rover driver, Matt Heverly, showed an animation derived from visualization software used for planning the first drive.

"We have a fully functioning mobility system with lots of amazing exploration ahead," Heverly said.

Curiosity will spend several more days of working beside Bradbury Landing, performing instrument checks and studying the surroundings, before embarking toward its first driving destination approximately 1,300 feet (400 meters) to the east-southeast.

"Curiosity is a much more complex vehicle than earlier Mars rovers. The testing and characterization activities during the initial weeks of the mission lay important groundwork for operating our precious national resource with appropriate care," said Curiosity Project Manager Pete Theisinger of JPL. "Sixteen days in, we are making excellent progress."

The science team has begun pointing instruments on the rover's mast for investigating specific targets of interest near and far. The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument used a laser and spectrometers this week to examine the composition of rocks exposed when the spacecraft's landing engines blew away several inches of overlying material.

The instrument's principal investigator, Roger Weins of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, reported that measurements made on the rocks in this scoured-out feature called Goulburn suggest a basaltic composition. "These may be pieces of basalt within a sedimentary deposit," Weins said.

Curiosity began a two-year prime mission on Mars when the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft delivered the car-size rover to its landing target inside Gale Crater on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The mission will use 10 science instruments on the rover to assess whether the area has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

In a career spanning more than 70 years, Ray Bradbury inspired generations of readers to dream, think and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and nearly 50 books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time.

His groundbreaking works include "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles," "The Illustrated Man," "Dandelion Wine," and "Something Wicked This Way Comes." He wrote the screenplay for John Huston's classic film adaptation of "Moby Dick," and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted 65 of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of "The Halloween Tree."

JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

More information about Curiosity is online at:
http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl .

Follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at:



« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 08:41:32 AM by BridgeTroll »
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #51 on: August 23, 2012, 08:40:47 AM »
Here is a link that contains all photos taken by the rover.  You can browse by individual camera... or by sol (day)

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #52 on: August 23, 2012, 08:47:56 AM »
Those photos look so eerie to me.  It's just not computing that the rover is actually on different planet.

What is the average temp in that area?


Temps range from -20°F during the day to -200°F during the night.



Quote
Taking Mars' Temperature 
This graph shows the rise and fall of air and ground temperatures on Mars obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover. The data cover Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2012 and were taken by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station. Ground temperatures vary from as high as 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) to as low as minus 131.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 91 degrees Celsius), showing large temperature oscillations from day to night. Air temperatures vary from as high as 28 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2 degrees Celsius) to as low as minus 103 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 75 degrees Celsius), indicating, as expected, variations in air temperatures are less extreme than ground temperature variations.
 

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2012, 06:40:49 AM »


Quote
08.27.2012
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA Rover Returns Voice and Telephoto Views From Martian Surface


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Curiosity has debuted the first recorded human voice that traveled from Earth to another planet and back.
In spoken words radioed to the rover on Mars and back to NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) on Earth, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden noted the difficulty of landing a rover on Mars, congratulated NASA employees and the agency's commercial and government partners on the successful landing of Curiosity earlier this month, and said curiosity is what drives humans to explore.

"The knowledge we hope to gain from our observation and analysis of Gale Crater will tell us much about the possibility of life on Mars as well as the past and future possibilities for our own planet. Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future," Bolden said in the recorded message.

The voice playback was released along with new telephoto camera views of the varied Martian landscape during a news conference today at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

"With this voice, another small step is taken in extending human presence beyond Earth, and the experience of exploring remote worlds is brought a little closer to us all," said Dave Lavery, NASA Curiosity program executive. "As Curiosity continues its mission, we hope these words will be an inspiration to someone alive today who will become the first to stand upon the surface of Mars. And like the great Neil Armstrong, they will speak aloud of that next giant leap in human exploration."

The telephoto images beamed back to Earth show a scene of eroded knobs and gulches on a mountainside, with geological layering clearly exposed. The new views were taken by the 100-millimeter telephoto lens and the 34-milllimeter wide angle lens of the Mast Camera (Mastcam) instrument. Mastcam has photographed the lower slope of the nearby mountain called Mount Sharp.

"This is an area on Mount Sharp where Curiosity will go," said Mastcam principal investigator Michael Malin, of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. "Those layers are our ultimate objective. The dark dune field is between us and those layers. In front of the dark sand you see redder sand, with a different composition suggested by its different color. The rocks in the foreground show diversity -- some rounded, some angular, with different histories. This is a very rich geological site to look at and eventually to drive through."

A drive early Monday placed Curiosity directly over a patch where one of the spacecraft's landing engines scoured away a few inches of gravelly soil and exposed underlying rock. Researchers plan to use a neutron-shooting instrument on the rover to check for water molecules bound into minerals at this partially excavated target.

During the news conference, the rover team reported the results of a test on Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, which can measure the composition of samples of atmosphere, powdered rock or soil. The amount of air from Earth's atmosphere remaining in the instrument after Curiosity's launch was more than expected, so a difference in pressure on either side of tiny pumps led SAM operators to stop pumping out the remaining Earth air as a precaution. The pumps subsequently worked, and a chemical analysis was completed on a sample of Earth air.

"As a test of the instrument, the results are beautiful confirmation of the sensitivities for identifying the gases present," said SAM principal investigator Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "We're happy with this test and we're looking forward to the next run in a few days when we can get Mars data."

Curiosity already is returning more data from the Martian surface than have all of NASA's earlier rovers combined.

"We have an international network of telecommunications relay orbiters bringing data back from Curiosity," said JPL's Chad Edwards, chief telecommunications engineer for NASA's Mars Exploration Program. "Curiosity is boosting its data return by using a new capability for adjusting its transmission rate."

Curiosity is 3 weeks into a two-year prime mission on Mars. It will use 10 science instruments to assess whether the selected study area ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

JPL manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. NASA's DSN is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The network also supports selected Earth-orbiting missions.

The full text of the administrator's message, as well as a video clip and audio clip with his recorded voice, are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/bolden20120827.html .

To view the new images, and for more information about the Curiosity rover, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl .

2012-260

Guy Webster/D.C. Agle 818-354-6278/818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov / agle@jpl.nasa.gov
Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
Dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

wsansewjs

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2012, 09:42:24 AM »


Quote
08.27.2012
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA Rover Returns Voice and Telephoto Views From Martian Surface


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Curiosity has debuted the first recorded human voice that traveled from Earth to another planet and back.
In spoken words radioed to the rover on Mars and back to NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) on Earth, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden noted the difficulty of landing a rover on Mars, congratulated NASA employees and the agency's commercial and government partners on the successful landing of Curiosity earlier this month, and said curiosity is what drives humans to explore.

"The knowledge we hope to gain from our observation and analysis of Gale Crater will tell us much about the possibility of life on Mars as well as the past and future possibilities for our own planet. Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future," Bolden said in the recorded message.

The voice playback was released along with new telephoto camera views of the varied Martian landscape during a news conference today at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

"With this voice, another small step is taken in extending human presence beyond Earth, and the experience of exploring remote worlds is brought a little closer to us all," said Dave Lavery, NASA Curiosity program executive. "As Curiosity continues its mission, we hope these words will be an inspiration to someone alive today who will become the first to stand upon the surface of Mars. And like the great Neil Armstrong, they will speak aloud of that next giant leap in human exploration."

The telephoto images beamed back to Earth show a scene of eroded knobs and gulches on a mountainside, with geological layering clearly exposed. The new views were taken by the 100-millimeter telephoto lens and the 34-milllimeter wide angle lens of the Mast Camera (Mastcam) instrument. Mastcam has photographed the lower slope of the nearby mountain called Mount Sharp.

"This is an area on Mount Sharp where Curiosity will go," said Mastcam principal investigator Michael Malin, of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. "Those layers are our ultimate objective. The dark dune field is between us and those layers. In front of the dark sand you see redder sand, with a different composition suggested by its different color. The rocks in the foreground show diversity -- some rounded, some angular, with different histories. This is a very rich geological site to look at and eventually to drive through."

A drive early Monday placed Curiosity directly over a patch where one of the spacecraft's landing engines scoured away a few inches of gravelly soil and exposed underlying rock. Researchers plan to use a neutron-shooting instrument on the rover to check for water molecules bound into minerals at this partially excavated target.

During the news conference, the rover team reported the results of a test on Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, which can measure the composition of samples of atmosphere, powdered rock or soil. The amount of air from Earth's atmosphere remaining in the instrument after Curiosity's launch was more than expected, so a difference in pressure on either side of tiny pumps led SAM operators to stop pumping out the remaining Earth air as a precaution. The pumps subsequently worked, and a chemical analysis was completed on a sample of Earth air.

"As a test of the instrument, the results are beautiful confirmation of the sensitivities for identifying the gases present," said SAM principal investigator Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "We're happy with this test and we're looking forward to the next run in a few days when we can get Mars data."

Curiosity already is returning more data from the Martian surface than have all of NASA's earlier rovers combined.

"We have an international network of telecommunications relay orbiters bringing data back from Curiosity," said JPL's Chad Edwards, chief telecommunications engineer for NASA's Mars Exploration Program. "Curiosity is boosting its data return by using a new capability for adjusting its transmission rate."

Curiosity is 3 weeks into a two-year prime mission on Mars. It will use 10 science instruments to assess whether the selected study area ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

JPL manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. NASA's DSN is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The network also supports selected Earth-orbiting missions.

The full text of the administrator's message, as well as a video clip and audio clip with his recorded voice, are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/bolden20120827.html .

To view the new images, and for more information about the Curiosity rover, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl .

2012-260

Guy Webster/D.C. Agle 818-354-6278/818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov / agle@jpl.nasa.gov
Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
Dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov



That's my friend, Dave Lavey! His newest car is on Mars! I have met, talked, and hung out with him at FIRST Robotics competitions events in the past 4 years.

I am on the very far left side with the face cut off. Dave Lavey is the guy in the right side, holding the panel we, the team, made for him. It is a martian alien with a squeezer and spray bottle to clean off the solar panels on the Spirit / Opportunity rover.



-Josh

« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 11:24:05 AM by wsansewjs »
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"Stephen intends on running for office in the next election (2014)." - Stephen Dare

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2012, 07:09:13 AM »


Quote
08.29.2012
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA Curiosity Rover Begins Eastbound Trek On Martian Surface

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has set off from its landing vicinity on a trek to a science destination about a quarter mile (400 meters) away, where it may begin using its drill.

The rover drove eastward about 52 feet (16 meters) on Tuesday, its 22nd Martian day after landing. This third drive was longer than Curiosity's first two drives combined. The previous drives tested the mobility system and positioned the rover to examine an area scoured by exhaust from one of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft engines that placed the rover on the ground.

"This drive really begins our journey toward the first major driving destination, Glenelg, and it's nice to see some Martian soil on our wheels," said mission manager Arthur Amador of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The drive went beautifully, just as our rover planners designed it."

Glenelg is a location where three types of terrain intersect. Curiosity's science team chose it as a likely place to find a first rock target for drilling and analysis.

"We are on our way, though Glenelg is still many weeks away," said Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "We plan to stop for just a day at the location we just reached, but in the next week or so we will make a longer stop."

During the longer stop at a site still to be determined, Curiosity will test its robotic arm and the contact instruments at the end of the arm. At the location reached Tuesday, Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) will collect a set of images toward the mission's ultimate driving destination, the lower slope of nearby Mount Sharp. A mosaic of images from the current location will be used along with the Mastcam images of the mountain taken at the spot where Curiosity touched down, Bradbury Landing. This stereo pair taken about 33 feet (10 meters) apart will provide three-dimensional information about distant features and possible driving routes.

Curiosity is three weeks into a two-year prime mission on Mars. It will use 10 science instruments to assess whether the selected study area ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl .
You can follow the mission on Facebook and on Twitter at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2012, 08:51:54 AM »
Looks like Curiosity can also defend itself... lol



Quote
08.30.2012
Marks of Laser Exam on Martian Soil 
The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its laser to examine side-by-side points in a target patch of soil, leaving the marks apparent in this before-and-after comparison.

The two images were taken by ChemCam's Remote Micro-Imager from a distance of about 11.5 feet (3.5 meters). The diameter of the circular field of view is about 3.1 inches (7.9 centimeters).

Researchers used ChemCam to study this soil target, named "Beechey," during the 19th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's mission (Aug. 25, 2012). The observation mode, called a five-by-one raster, is a way to investigate chemical variability at short scale on rock or soil targets. For the Beechey study, each point received 50 shots of the instrument's laser. The points on the target were studied in sequence left to right. Each shot delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second. The energy from the laser excites atoms in the target into a glowing state, and the instrument records the spectra of the resulting glow to identify what chemical elements are present in the target.

The holes seen here have widths of about 0.08 inch to 0.16 inch (2 to 4 millimeters), much larger than the size of the laser spot (0.017 inch or 0.43 millimeter at this distance). This demonstrates the power of the laser to evacuate dust and small unconsolidated grains. A preliminary analysis of the spectra recorded during this raster study show that the first laser shots look alike for each of the five points, but then variability is seen from shot to shot in a given point and from point to point.

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.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/ CNES/IRAP/LPGN/CNRS

Browse Image  |  Medium Image  |  Full Res Image (NASA's Planetary Photojournal) 

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=4600
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Timkin

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #57 on: September 03, 2012, 12:50:14 AM »
Fascinating :)

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2012, 10:57:25 AM »

Quote
A Rover's Journey Begins 
Tracks from the first drives of NASA's Curiosity rover are visible in this image captured by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The rover is seen where the tracks end. The image's color has been enhanced to show the surface details better.

The two marks seen near the site where the rover landed formed when reddish surface dust was blown away by the rover's descent stage, revealing darker basaltic sands underneath. Similarly, the tracks appear darker where the rover's wheels disturbed the top layer of dust.

Observing the tracks over time will provide information on how the surface changes as dust is deposited and eroded.

The full image for these observations can be seen at http://uahirise.org/releases/msl-tracks.php .
 


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Curiosity's Robotic Arm 
This engineering drawing shows the location of the arm on NASA's Curiosity rover, in addition to the arm's turret, which holds two instruments and three tools. The arm places and holds turret-mounted tools on rock and soil targets. It also manipulates the sample-processing mechanisms on the 66-pound (30-kilogram) turret.

The arm has five degrees of freedom of movement provided by rotary actuators known as the shoulder azimuth joint, shoulder elevation joint, elbow joint, wrist joint and turret joint.
 


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Tools at Curiosity's 'Fingertips' 
This engineering drawing shows the five devices that make up the turret at the end of the arm on NASA's Curiosity rover. These include: the drill for acquiring powdered samples from interiors of rocks; the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS); the sample processing subsystem named Collection and Handling for Interior Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA), which includes a scoop that can scoop up lose dirt from the Martian surface; the Dust Removal Tool (DRT) and the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).


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Curiosity's Location During Arm Checkouts 
This scene shows the surroundings of the location where NASA Mars rover Curiosity arrived on the 29th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Sept. 4, 2012). It is a mosaic of images taken by Curiosity's Navigation Camera (Navcam) following the Sol 29 drive of 100 feet (30.5 meters). Tracks from the drive are visible in the image. For scale, Curiosity leaves parallel tracks about 9 feet (2.7 meters) apart.

At this location on Sol 30, Curiosity began a series of activities to test and characterize the rover's robotic arm and the tools on the arm.

The panorama is centered to the north-northeast, with south-southwest at both ends. 
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Dog Walker

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Re: Mars Rover Curiosity
« Reply #59 on: September 10, 2012, 02:02:41 PM »
Just think!  We have landed a nuclear powered tank with a laser cannon on another world.  Neat stuff!
When all else fails hug the dog.