Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Drops In
Posted on 08/08/2012 6:32:09 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Just as it captured the Phoenix lander parachuting to Mars in 2008, the HiRise camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) snapped this picture of the Curiosity rover's spectacular descent toward its landing site on August 5 (PDT). The nearly 16 meter (51 foot) wide parachute and its payload are caught dropping through the thin martian atmosphere above plains just north of the sand dune field that that borders the 5 kilometer high Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. The MRO spacecraft was about 340 kilometers away when the image was made. From MRO's perspective the parachute is flying at an angle to the surface so the landing site itself does not appear below it. Dangling from tethers and still about 3 kilometers above Mars, Curiosity and its rocket powered sky crane have not yet been deployed.
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There’s an interesting article (somewhere) about how many sci-fi movies about Mars have been total flops.
Well most of them have been crap.
I had actually hoped that the Total Recall remake would be better (It would just about have to be) but from what I’ve read that doesn’t include mars.
Beautiful pic. There has been a LIVE news conference everyday since the landing at 1PM EDT. For those interested, you can catch it on NASA TV or Ustream. They have different team members everyday. Kind of educational to watch. Last about an hour.
Looks pretty barren. Even Detroit looks better.
So get this: Curiosity lands, right?
And what does it look like?
The parachute detached and blew away.
The rocket pack detached and flew away.
Curiosity was landed straight down, gently.
So you’re a Martian, and you walk up to it.
A nuclear-powered, laser-armed SUV is just sitting there in the middle of the desert. No rocket, not parachute, no tracks.
Just sitting there.
Where the hell did it come from?
Weird visual, methinks.
The APOD is one thing, but the subsequent comments on the thread complete the experience. They are alternately entertaining and informative. I love the APOD pings, even if I don’t always respond.
That picture is totally awesome. Thanks for posting!
Anyway, it's worth the trouble. Below at top left you see the APOD in blue outline in a larger context. Bottom left you see THAT image in a larger context, where the chute is barely discernible as a tiny white dot. The Curiosity landing site is in the red circle ( my estimate. ) Then at right is the full view of the tiff at minimum magnification, as it comes up in Windows Photo Viewer. The magnification slide bar takes you all the way down to the pixelated closeup of the chute.
Of course, there are thousands of these kind of views in the HiRISE catalog. AMAZING !!!!
Sometimes some of the subsequent comments do. :’) Thanks TOL!