Three Wheels and a Mountain

NASA’s Curiosity rover takes a peek at a peak — the central peak of Gale Crater, that is! — as well as three of its Morse-code etched wheels in this picture, made from two images acquired with its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument on September 9.

Curiosity’s Camera Reveals “Southwestern” Landscape on Mars

Wow — what a view! This is a high-resolution shot of the Curiosity rover’s ultimate goal: the stratified flanks of Gale Crater’s 3.4-mile (5.5-km) high central peak, Mount Sharp. The image was taken with Curiosity’s 34mm Mastcam as a calibration test… if views like this are what we can expect from the MSL mission, all I can…

Curiosity’s Landing Video in Mind-Blowing HD

This is awesome! The full-resolution images taken by Curiosity’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) instrument have been downloaded and assembled into a high-def video of the rover’s descent and landing on Mars. From the heat shield falling away to the final, dust-blown touchdown in Gale Crater via sky crane, we finally get a good look at…

Curiosity’s Message to Mars

While Curiosity is definitely loaded up with some of the most high-tech instruments ever made to investigate the surface of Mars, it also carries one very low-tech instrument: a sundial, which can be used to determine the position of the Sun in the sky and the season on Mars — just like they do here…

A Lomographic Look at Mount Sharp

Looking like an old photograph of a Western U.S. landscape, this is a view from Curiosity’s acquired on August 18 (UTC) with the rover’s right Navcam. I colored the image using some of Curiosity’s previous color shots for reference, and adjusted the curves quite a bit from the original to bring out some contrast. The…

An MSL Panorama from Gale Crater

Here’s a panoramic view of the mountainous rim of Gale Crater, as seen by Curiosity’s left Mastcam on 8/9/2012. The image is assembled from 5 raw subsampled images. Gale Crater is about 96 miles (154 km) wide and estimated to be around 3.8 billion years old. Want to see more of this view? Click here,…

Heads Up, Curiosity!

This just in: the latest full-size image from Curiosity shows the rover’s shadow with its “head” extended…. hello, Curiosity! 🙂 The image above was taken with the rover’s left navcam, and also shows its branded plate and cool little Atari-esque “logo”. Awesome! You can see more raw images from Curiosity on the JPL site here….

New Mars Rover is a Litterbug!

Only two days on Mars and Curiosity has already made a mess! 🙂 The various components from MSL’s descent and landing process have been spotted by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, scattered in the vicinity of Curiosity within Gale crater. MSL’s heat shield, parachute, back shell and sky crane (with a very…

Landing on Mars – From a Rover’s Point of View

Ride along with Curiosity as it descends to the surface of Mars in this 4 fps video taken by the rover’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) camera! These images are low-resolution, the full-res versions will be available at a later date. But still the view during the rover’s harrowing descent, showing the heat shield falling away…

How Curiosity Will Meet Mars

At 10:31 p.m. PDT tonight, August 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6), after nearly 9 months of travel, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (and a rover named Curiosity) will arrive at the Red Planet to explore the interior of Gale Crater and hunt for the ingredients of life. Of course, between arriving and hunting, there has…

Remembering Sojourner, the First Mars Rover

The Mars Pathfinder mission, launched on Dec. 4, 1996, was designed to demonstrate a low-cost method for delivering a set of science instruments to Mars and sent the first wheeled vehicle to be used on another planet. The mission served as the foundation for all future Mars rovers. Although I eagerly followed the exciting news…

More Evidence for a Wetter, “Volcanier” Mars

Spirit may have settled in for an eternal sleep on Mars but the data she’s sent back is still helping researchers piece together clues for a wetter history of the red planet! The image above, a false-color view from the “Home Plate” region where Spirit now sits,  points to a feature geologists call a “bomb sag”….