This week has been all about Mars and the Curiosity rover. We’ve posted lots of images taken on the Martian surface this week including a pretty awesome color panorama. We’ve selected a new image as our Photo of the Week as it shows the left side of Curiosity, blast marks from the mission’s descent stage and the rim of the Gale Crater.
We’re loving all these photographs! Curiosity, the Mars rover that landed on the red planet just three days ago, has been snapping away and feeding our obsession with this amazing NASA mission. For the next 23 months, the rover will analyze rock and ground samples in the fascinating Gale Crater to see if it had, or still has, conditions that are favorable to microbial life.
The panorama above, which was taken today, is made up of 130 images. According to NASA, the image was brightened a bit as Mars receives only half the sunlight Earth does.
Here’s a closer look at a portion of the shot:
We can’t wait to see a closeup of the mountain’s summit!
There’s going to be a lot of news from Mars this month as a one-ton rover – fondly known as Curiosity – attempts to make its way to the surface of the red planet.
The mission, which launched in November of 2011, is a massive endeavor that aims to answer the age-old question of Mars’ habitability, among other things. Curiosity is expected to land on the Martian surface at 1:30 a.m. ET Monday, Aug. 6. And, as we’ve mentioned previously, we’re more than a bit worried about the now-famous “Seven minutes of Terror.” That’s the time it’ll take Curiosity to get from the top of Mars’ atmosphere to its surface. (If you haven’t seen the video, you must.) Anyone else experiencing a bit of anxiety?
In honor of the mission, we’ve placed a countdown on the left side of our homepage. Nothing fancy … it’ll work for now.
August brings some other news, including the Perseid meteor shower. Check out the video below for more information about that as well as some other interesting things you could see in the night sky this August.
Curiosity, a one-ton rover headed straight for Mars, is scheduled to land on the red planet in early August. “The landing will mark the beginning of a two-year prime mission to investigate whether one of the most intriguing places on Mars ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life,” according to NASA.
Here’s an intense video explaining the challenges of landing the car-sized rover on Mars. (On a scale of one to 10, NASA said landing on the planet is a 20!) In seven minutes time, the rover has to go from 13,000-miles-per-hour to zero.
The whole scenario seems impossible! I can’t believe scientists can actually do this. Good luck, Curiosity. Go get ‘em!
Just in case you were wondering about previous missions to Mars, here’s a great infographic I posted on Twitter yesterday. Follow me @LM_Ortiz