Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mars Science Laboratory

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Back in March I posted one of my Mars sketches and mentioned the Mars Science Laboratory mission nicknamed Curiosity which was en-route to Mars.  Well, here we are three days after an amazing touchdown and already stunning images are coming back.  Unless you have been under a rock the past three days you have no doubt seen many of the amazing pictures and images coming from the HiRise camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the rovers descent by parachute (at left) as well as the hardware scattered about the Martian surface.  If not, visit the HiRise website!

It is, however, time to visit the surface of the red planet...and without further ado, Welcome to Mars!!!

Click to enlarge to full size

Image Credit: NASA/JPL - Caltech
According to NASA, "These are 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."

For those of you wanting to stay current with the MSL Curiosity mission, there are nearly daily updates on the mission website.

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