Mars Rover Landing Video Surfaces: NASA Unveils Curiosity Rover Last 2 Minutes of Descent [WATCH]
By EnStarz Staff Writer, EnStarz | Aug 07, 2012 10:40 AM EDT
This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface of Mars on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The image was obtained by the Mars Descent Imager instrument known as MARDI and shows the 15-foot (4.5-meter) diameter heat shield when it was about 50 feet (16 meters) from the spacecraft. It was obtained two and one-half minutes before touching down on the surface of Mars and about three seconds after heat shield separation. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. The resolution of all of the MARDI frames is reduced by a factor of eight in order for them to be promptly received on Earth during this early phase of the mission. Full resolution (1,600 by 1,200 pixel) images will be returned to Earth over the next several months as Curiosity begins its scientific exploration of Mars.
The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat.
Curiosity landed inside of a crater known as Gale Crater.
(Photo : NASA)
NASA released the first video of the historic landing of its "Curiosity" rover on Mars.
The stop-motion video shows 297 frames received on Earth on August 6 and cover the last two and a half minutes of descent. They were taken from the Mars Descent Imager aboard NASA's Curiosity rover as it descended to the surface of Mars, NASA informed.
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NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars Sunday, becoming the largest rover ever to land on another planet and marking the beginning of an ambitious goal set by the United States to send humans to the Red Planet in the 2030's.
The Curiosity rover - with no humans inside- landed on Mars the evening of August 5 PST (morning of August 6 EST) ending a 36-week flight.
NASA says this robotic laboratory will investigate whether conditions have favored development of microbial life on the Red Planet.
Mars Rover Landing Photos: NASA's Curiosity Rover Lands Successfully August 6
Watch the clip below:
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