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Topic: Malin Space Science Systems

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity to study Sandstones at next waypoint

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover and could be a study topic at the mission’s next science waypoint.

On a journey with many months yet to go toward prime destinations on the lower slope of Mount Sharp, Curiosity is approaching a site called “the Kimberley.” Scientists on the team picked this location last year as a likely place to pause for investigation.

Sandstone layers with varying resistance to erosion are evident in this Martian scene recorded by the Mast Camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Feb. 25, 2014, about one-quarter mile (about 400 meters) from a planned waypoint called "the Kimberley." (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

Sandstone layers with varying resistance to erosion are evident in this Martian scene recorded by the Mast Camera on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on Feb. 25, 2014, about one-quarter mile (about 400 meters) from a planned waypoint called “the Kimberley.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity catches images of Mars’ moon Phobos eclipsing the Sun

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Images taken with a telephoto-lens camera on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity catch the larger of Mars’ two moons, Phobos, passing directly in front of the sun — the sharpest images of a solar eclipse ever taken at Mars.

Phobos does not fully cover the sun, as seen from the surface of Mars, so the solar eclipse is what’s called a ring, or annular, type. A set of three frames from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam), taken three seconds apart as Phobos eclipsed the sun here .

This set of three images shows views three seconds apart as the larger of Mars' two moons, Phobos, passed directly in front of the sun as seen by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. Curiosity photographed this annular, or ring, eclipse with the telephoto-lens camera of the rover's Mast Camera pair (right Mastcam) on Aug. 17, 2013, the 369th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ.)

This set of three images shows views three seconds apart as the larger of Mars’ two moons, Phobos, passed directly in front of the sun as seen by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Curiosity photographed this annular, or ring, eclipse with the telephoto-lens camera of the rover’s Mast Camera pair (right Mastcam) on Aug. 17, 2013, the 369th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ.)

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover catches images of Mars’ Moons Phobos, Deimos

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passes directly in front of the other, Deimos, in a new series of sky-watching images from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity.

Large craters on Phobos are clearly visible in these images from the surface of Mars. No previous images from missions on the surface caught one moon eclipsing the other.

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover takes photos of Mars at night for the first time

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has for the first time used the camera on its arm to take photos at night, illuminated by white lights and ultraviolet lights on the instrument.

Scientists used the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument for a close-up nighttime look at a rock target called “Sayunei,” in an area where Curiosity’s front-left wheel had scuffed the rock to provide fresh, dust-free materials to examine.

This image of a Martian rock illuminated by white-light LEDs (light emitting diodes) is part of the first set of nighttime images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This image of a Martian rock illuminated by white-light LEDs (light emitting diodes) is part of the first set of nighttime images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the robotic arm of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover finishes analyzing it’s first Martian Soil Sample

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity’s arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover.

Detection of the substances during this early phase of the mission demonstrates the laboratory’s capability to analyze diverse soil and rock samples over the next two years. Scientists also have been verifying the capabilities of the rover’s instruments.

This is a view of the third (left) and fourth (right) trenches made by the 1.6-inch-wide (4-centimeter-wide) scoop on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity in October 2012. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This is a view of the third (left) and fourth (right) trenches made by the 1.6-inch-wide (4-centimeter-wide) scoop on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity in October 2012. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter tracks Dust Storm over the surface of Mars

 

Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A Martian dust storm that NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been tracking since last week has also produced atmospheric changes detectable by rovers on Mars.

Using the orbiter’s Mars Color Imager, Bruce Cantor of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, began observing the storm on November 10th, and subsequently reported it to the team operating NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

The storm came no closer than about 837 miles (1,347 kilometers) from Opportunity, resulting in only a slight drop in atmospheric clarity over that rover, which does not have a weather station.

This nearly global mosaic of observations made by the Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 18, 2012, shows a dust storm in Mars' southern hemisphere. Small white arrows outline the area where dust from the storm is apparent in the atmosphere. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This nearly global mosaic of observations made by the Mars Color Imager on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 18, 2012, shows a dust storm in Mars’ southern hemisphere. Small white arrows outline the area where dust from the storm is apparent in the atmosphere. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity nears completion of Robotic Arm Tests

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Curiosity team has almost finished robotic arm tests in preparation for the rover to touch and examine its first Martian rock.

Tests with the 7-foot (2.1-meter) arm have allowed the mission team to gain confidence in the arm’s precise maneuvering in Martian temperature and gravity conditions. During these activities, Curiosity has remained at a site it reached by its most recent drive on September 5th. The team will resume driving the rover this week and use its cameras to seek the first rock to touch with instruments on the arm.

This set of images from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the inlet covers for the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument opening and closing, as the rover continues to check out its instruments in the first phase after landing. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This set of images from NASA’s Curiosity rover shows the inlet covers for the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument opening and closing, as the rover continues to check out its instruments in the first phase after landing. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity continues activities to test it’s Robotic Arm and use of Tools

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity stepped through activities on September 7th, 8th and 9th designed to check and characterize precision movements by the rover’s robotic arm and use of tools on the arm.

The activities confirmed good health and usefulness of Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, and used that camera to check arm placement during several positioning activities.

This view of the lower front and underbelly areas of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines nine images taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 34th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 9, 2012). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)

This view of the lower front and underbelly areas of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity combines nine images taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 34th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Sept. 9, 2012). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover records Voice from Earth and takes Telephoto images of Mars

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – 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.

A chapter of the layered geological history of Mars is laid bare in this postcard from NASA's Curiosity rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

A chapter of the layered geological history of Mars is laid bare in this postcard from NASA’s Curiosity rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover takes Color panorama of Gale Crater

 

DC Agle and Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The first images from Curiosity’s color Mast Camera, or Mastcam, have been received by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. The 130 low-resolution thumbnails, which were received Thursday morning, provide scientists and engineers of NASA’s newest Mars rover their first color, horizon-to-horizon glimpse of Gale Crater.

“After a year in cold storage, where it endured the rigors of launch, the deep space cruise to Mars and everything that went on during landing, it is great to see our camera is working as planned,” said Mike Malin, principal investigator of the Mastcam instrument from Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. “As engaging as this color panorama is, it is important to note this is only one-eighth the potential resolution of images from this camera.”

This is the first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA's Curiosity rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This is the first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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