Curiosity On Mars, Elation At NASA

(credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on the evening of August 5, 2012 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided byNASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona, NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute are seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descends to the surface of Mars August 5, 2012. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover
In this handout image provided by NASA, the head of the remote sensing mast on the Mars Science Laboratory mission's rover, Curiosity, shows seven of the 17 cameras on the rover. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA via Getty Images)
(credit:  ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
Michael Malin
Michael Malin, Mars Descent Imager principal investigator, discusses an image sent by the Mars Rover Curiosity showing Mt. Sharp, at a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on August 6, 2012. NASA opened a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration when its $2.5 billion nuclear-powered robot Curiosity beamed back pictures from the surface of Mars.
(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
Mars Descent Imager
Mars Descent Imager principal investigator Michael Malin (C), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission director Jennifer Trosper (L) and MSL deputy project scientist Joy Crisp discuss an image sent by the Mars Rover Curiosity showing the heat shield falling away from the Rover (not in photo) as it descents toward the Martian surface at a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on August 6, 2012. NASA opened a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration when its $2.5 billion nuclear-powered robot Curiosity beamed back pictures from the surface of Mars.
(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface of Mars on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT) and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. This image from Curiosity's Mars Descent Imager reveals surface features including relatively dark dunes, degraded impact craters and other geologic features including small escarpments that range in size from a few feet (meters) to many tens of feet (meters) in height. The image was obtained one minute 16 seconds before touchdown. This is but one of hundreds of frames that were acquired during the descent to the surface. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. Curiosity landed inside of a crater known as Gale Crater. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface of Mars on August 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT) and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The image was obtained by the Mars Descent Imager instrument known as MARDI and shows the 15-foot (4.5-meter) diameter heat shield when it was about 50 feet (16 meters) from the spacecraft. It was obtained two and one-half minutes before touching down on the surface of Mars and about three seconds after heat shield separation. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. The resolution of all of the MARDI frames is reduced by a factor of eight in order for them to be promptly received on Earth during this early phase of the mission. Full resolution (1,600 by 1,200 pixel) images will be returned to Earth over the next several months as Curiosity begins its scientific exploration of Mars. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The image from Curiosity's Mars Descent Imager illustrates the roughly circular swirls of dust kicked up from the Martian surface by the rocket motor exhaust. At this point, Curiosity is about 70 feet (20 meters) above the surface. This dust cloud was generated when the Curiosity rover was being lowered to the surface while the Sky Crane hovered above. This is the first image of the direct effects of rocket motor plumes on Mars and illustrates the mobility of powder-like dust on the Martian surface. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
A view of Mount Sharp is seen in the distance taken by NASA's Curiosity rover front hazcam and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on August 6, 2012 in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
This view of the landscape to the north of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was acquired by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the afternoon of the first day after landing. (The team calls this day Sol 1, which is the first Martian day of operations; Sol 1 began on August 6, 2012.) and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. In the distance, the image shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater. The image is murky because the MAHLI's removable dust cover is apparently coated with dust blown onto the camera during the rover's terminal descent. Images taken without the dust cover in place are expected to during checkout of the robotic arm in coming weeks. The main purpose of Curiosity's MAHLI camera is to acquire close-up, high-resolution views of rocks and soil at the rover's Gale Crater field site. The camera is capable of focusing on any target at distances of about 0.8 inch (2.1 centimeters) to infinity. This means it can, as shown here, also obtain pictures of the Martian landscape. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/University of Arizona via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
This is the location (green) where scientists estimate NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars within Gale Crater, based on images from the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI). The landing estimates derived from navigation and landing data agree to within 660 feet (200 meters) of this MARDI estimate. The red line shows the northern edge of the targeted landing region, a probability distribution defined by an ellipse. The gray scale image is a mosaic from the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The color image is from MARDI.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/University of Arizona via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltechvia Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
The first two full-resolution images of the Martian surface from the Navigation cameras on NASA's Curiosity rover, which are located on the rover's "head" or mast. The rim of Gale Crater can be seen in the distance beyond the pebbly ground. The topography of the rim is very mountainous due to erosion. The ground seen in the middle shows low-relief scarps and plains. The foreground shows two distinct zones of excavation likely carved out by blasts from the rover's descent stage thrusters.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltechvia Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover On Mars
A 3-D view in front of NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on August 5, is captured. The anaglyph was made from a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance Cameras on the front of the rover. Mount Sharp, a peak that is about 5.5 miles (3.4 miles) high, is visible rising above the terrain, though in one "eye" a box on the rover holding the drill bits obscures the view. This image was captured by Hazard-Avoidance cameras on the front of the rover at full resolution shortly after the rover landed. It has been linearized to remove the distorted appearance that results from its fisheye lens.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
A comparison shows a view through a Hazard-Avoidance camera on NASA's Curiosity rover before and after the clear dust cover was removed. Both images were taken by a camera at the front of the rover. Mount Sharp, the mission's ultimate destination, looms ahead. The view on the left, with the dust cover on, is one quarter of full resolution, while the view on the right is full resolution.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
This is the first image taken by the Navigation cameras on NASA's Curiosity rover. It shows the shadow of the rover's now-upright mast in the center, and the arm's shadow at left. The arm itself can be seen in the foreground. The navigation camera is used to help find the sun -- information that is needed for locating, and communicating, with Earth. After the camera pointed at the sun, it turned in the opposite direction and took this picture. The position of the shadow helps confirm the sun's location.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
A 3-D view behind NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on August 5, is captured. The anaglyph was made from a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance Cameras on the rear of the rover. Part of the rim of the Gale Crater, which is a feature the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, stretches from the top middle to the top right of the image. One of the rover's wheels can be seen at bottom right. The bright spot is saturation from the sun.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, USA on Sunday, August 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(Moments Before) Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, USA on Sunday, August 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Elation At NASA
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team in the MSL Mission Support Area reacts after learning the the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming in at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Mars, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif. The MSL Rover named Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes.
(credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, USA on Sunday, August 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, USA on Sunday, August 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate as the first pictures appear on screen after a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
Elation at NASA
John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, Richard Cook, MSL deputy project manager, Pete Theisinger, MSL project manager, Adam Steltzner, MSL entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead and John Grotzinger, MSL project scientist from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover mission team raise their arms at a press conference after the Mars Rover Curiosity successfully landed on the surface of the Red Planet on August 5, 2012 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. NASA's 2.5 billion USD Mars rover on August 5 sent back its first signals to mission control as it was about to enter the Red Planet's atmosphere in the final moments of a dramatic touchdown.
(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation at NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, USA on Sunday, August 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
Elation At NASA
Scientists celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, USA on Sunday, August 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration.
(credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
A color image from NASA's Curiosity Rover shows the pebble-covered surface of Mars. The images were taken on August 9, 2012 by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
A color image from NASA's Curiosity Rover shows the pebble-covered surface of Mars. This is a portion of the first color 360-degree panorama from NASA's Curiosity rover, made up of thumbnails, which are small copies of higher-resolution images. The mission's destination, a mountain at the center of Gale Crater called Mount Sharp, can be seen in the distance, to the left, beginning to rise up. The mountain's summit will be imaged later. Blast marks from the rover's descent stage are in the foreground.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
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