NASA welcomes striking new views from Mars
2012 08 07

From: CBC.ca


NASA’s Curiosity rover has transmitted a low-resolution video showing the last 2˝ minutes of its white-knuckle dive through the Martian atmosphere, giving earthlings a sneak peek of a spacecraft landing on another world.

As thumbnails of the video flashed on a big screen on Monday, scientists and engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion let out "oohs" and "aahs." The recording began with the protective heat shield falling away and ended with dust being kicked up as the rover was lowered by cables inside an ancient crater.



NASA’s robotic explorer Curiosity landed safely on the surface of Mars on Monday and transmitted this image of the red planet’s surface. Curiosity, NASA’s newest and best-equipped rover, is set to search Mars’ surface for two years, with hopes of finding evidence that the planet could have once sustained life. (NASA/Reuters)



It was a sneak preview, since it’ll take some time before full-resolution frames are beamed back depending on other priorities.

The full video "will just be exquisite," said Michael Malin, the chief scientist of the instrument.

NASA celebrated the precision landing of a rover on Mars and marveled over the mission’s flurry of photographs — grainy, black-and-white images of Martian gravel, a mountain at sunset and, most exciting of all, the spacecraft’s white-knuckle plunge through the red planet’s atmosphere.





Curiosity, a roving laboratory the size of a compact car, landed right on target late Sunday after an eight-month, 352-million-mile journey. It parked its six wheels about four miles from its ultimate science destination — Mount Sharp, rising from the floor of Gale Crater near the equator.

Extraordinary efforts were needed for the landing because the rover weighs one ton, and the thin Martian atmosphere offers little friction to slow down a spacecraft. Curiosity had to go from 13,000 mph to zero in seven minutes, unfurling a parachute, then firing rockets to brake. In a Hollywood-style finish, cables delicately lowered it to the ground at 2 mph.

At the end of what NASA called "seven minutes of terror," the vehicle settled into place almost perfectly flat in the crater it was aiming for.

"We have ended one phase of the mission much to our enjoyment," mission manager Mike Watkins said. "But another part has just begun."
Systems check

The nuclear-powered Curiosity will dig into the Martian surface to analyze what’s there and hunt for some of the molecular building blocks of life, including carbon.

It won’t start moving for a couple of weeks, because all the systems on the $2.5 billion rover have to be checked out. Colour photos and panoramas will start coming in the next few days.


Curiosity’s 4.5-metre diameter heat shield falling away about 2 1/2 minutes before the rover touched down on the surface of Mars and about three seconds after heat shield separated from the spacecraft carrying the rover. The image was taken by the rover’s Mars Descent Imager when the shield was about 16 metres from the spacecraft. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)



[...]


Read the full article at: cbc.ca






Related Articles
Wow! Mars Rover Landing Spotted by Orbiting Spacecraft
Curiosity lands on Mars
Stunning photo shows a big hole on Mars
Does Mars’ interior hold huge reservoirs of water? Martian meteorites say yes.
Mars One: One-way ticket to the red planet
Did NASA find life on Mars in 1976, and then cook it?
Five "Cursed" Mars Missions


Latest News from our Front Page

Archaeologists discover 8,000-year-old HUMAN BRAIN? Norway skull ’harbours fragments of grey matter’
2014 07 21
Archaeologists in Norway have unearthed what they believe to be a skull 8,000 years old that could contain the oldest remnants of a human brain. The discovery was made at a dig site in Stokke, southwest of Oslo. Initial findings suggest the skull belonged to a child no older than ten years old, while an adult was also buried in a fetal-like ...
New York State Wants To Heavily Regulate Bitcoin Trading
2014 07 21
The proposal would establish a mandatory “BitLicense” for any company involved with the buying, selling, mining or trading of cryptocurrencies. In a move that has upset many in the bitcoin community, New York has become the first state to issue guidelines for the regulation of the trade and storage of bitcoins and other virtual currencies. With New York City being ...
Government agents ’directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots
2014 07 21
Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or informants, a new report says. Some of the controversial "sting" operations "were proposed or led by informants", bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist. The ...
Russian Institute for Strategic Studies: NATO Is Attempting to “Revolutionize The Current World Order”
2014 07 21
West seeks “total reconstruction of the world” The tense situation between Ukraine and the United States is outlined in a paper released earlier this month by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS). A week prior to the downing of Malaysian flight 17, the institute warned that the west “refuses to adhere to the principles and norms of international law and ...
MH17: Are Pristine and Expired Passports a Smoking Gun for a False Flag?
2014 07 21
As the dust settles on this latest air tragedy, a number of very visible anomalies exist, all of which have been willingly glossed over by western media analyists and government officials. Putting the current media storm into context, it’s essential to establish the political motives of those parties rushing to assign blame. Western government and major western media outlets, namely ...
More News »