Mars Curiosity Rover - Mission Progress


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Profile LynnProject donor
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Message 1271228 - Posted: 13 Aug 2012, 18:59:28 UTC - in response to Message 1271050.

Looking at the photo, Lynn; you do get a distinct impression that Mars
has all the looks of landscapes that have been subjected to weathering.
I feel that the outlook for Curiosity discoveries will be quite exciting.



I feel the same. Plate tectonics on Mars may increase chances of finding signs of life. So says a study.

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Message 1271318 - Posted: 13 Aug 2012, 23:44:16 UTC - in response to Message 1271228.


Exposed by Rocket Engine Blasts

Rocks look earth like.

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Message 1271328 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 0:21:22 UTC
Last modified: 14 Aug 2012, 1:12:56 UTC

Lynn, this shot certainly gets the imagination racing a bit. The lower squarish
"rock" certainly has a building block feel about it. There's another interesting
formation in the lower left hand side of this shot, the two dark grey rocks, they
have the appearance of having been hewn. To my mind Mars is very worthy of a
manned space visit so that one can get their hands on this stuff to really see
what it is. Features like this we are seeing here are making this Curiosity
mission very worthwhile. I'm not into travelling through space myself but...
....I want to be there and see this all first hand. All that we eventually get to
see may be no more than that explainable away as occurring through natural causes
upon this planet. But I feel what we are currently seeing is quite remarkable.
The question is, "Was Mars ever once a living planet"...we should find out within
the next few months.
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Message 1271336 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 1:12:57 UTC - in response to Message 1271328.
Last modified: 14 Aug 2012, 1:41:43 UTC

Lynn, this shot certainly gets the imagination racing a bit. The lower squarish
"rock" certainly has a building block feel about it. There's another interesting
formation in the lower left hand side of this shot, the two dark grey rocks, they
have the appearance of having been hewn. To my mind Mars is very worthy of a
manned space visit so that one can get their hands on this stuff to really see
what it is. Features like this we are seeing here are making this Curiosity
mission very worthwhile. I'm not into travelling through space myself but...
....I want to be there and see this all first hand. All that we eventually get to
see may be no more than that explainable away as occurring through natural causes
upon this planet. But I feel what we are currently seeing is quite remarkable.
The question is, "Was Mars ever a living planet"...we should find out within
the next few months.


I agree with you. The rocks looked so real, wanted to reach out and touch one. Every penny spent by NASA, was well worth it for this mission. The next will be a manned mission to the red planet. No contamination from Curiosity. The science shows sometimes agree Mars, was once a habitable planet. Millions of years ago. I hope they find some microbes.
Lynn

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Message 1271388 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 7:42:17 UTC

NASA says there are "fluvial valleys" descending from the rim of Gale crater, typical results of streaming water. Although Curiosity has not been planned to go to the rim, because it should climb the Sharp mountain, it might be worth of a trip.
Tullio
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Message 1271423 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 9:48:51 UTC - in response to Message 1271388.
Last modified: 14 Aug 2012, 9:52:09 UTC

Still looks like where I live in Australia, pretty much, sans the semi-living shrubbery of course. Mind you, finding evidence of life here can be tricky too, though supposedly there is and has been plenty.


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Message 1271448 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 10:54:18 UTC

It's all fascinating stuff, but I think we should be careful not to read too much into what we are seeing, until we know more. It is however tempting to speculate on the basis of what we would LIKE to find! If there was once a population there of some description that constructed dwelling places, there would be remains all over the planet. A bit unlikely to find just one house brick in the middle of nowhere :-)

Any microbes found could of course have come from meteorites over the millennia, and may not be proof they are indigenous to Mars itself. Whatever we find is going to radically enhance our knowledge anyway. Personally I would just love a little green man to pop up from behind a rock, but I rather think the odds are against it!

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Message 1271456 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 11:17:14 UTC - in response to Message 1271448.

A bit unlikely to find just one house brick in the middle of nowhere :-)

You have not been to the places i have been and found a `house brick` in the middle of nowhere . . . .
But that is just our filthy species, i hope aliens would not be like us.

As far as rocks in brick shapes go,
i have seen plenty of rocks that have broken up into geometric shapes due to natural weathering,
Pick up a few nice ones and build a wall with few gaps between.

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Message 1271481 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 12:36:05 UTC - in response to Message 1271456.
Last modified: 14 Aug 2012, 12:59:52 UTC

A bit unlikely to find just one house brick in the middle of nowhere :-)

You have not been to the places i have been and found a `house brick` in the middle of nowhere . . . .
But that is just our filthy species, i hope aliens would not be like us.

As far as rocks in brick shapes go,
i have seen plenty of rocks that have broken up into geometric shapes due to natural weathering,
Pick up a few nice ones and build a wall with few gaps between.

Yes, Clive; nature does have it's ways of creating things that could easily be
interpreted as being man-made. The human eye picks these features out, naturally,
and hence becomes inquisitive just as we are with those rocks in the previous
photo. So let the chemist sample the the contents of the soil, the geologists the
rock and ground formations and the electronics buffs go searching for old discarded
capacitors, resisters, valves and transistors all for evidence of past inteligent life and the rest of us sit back and
allow our imaginations to run for a while....who knows, us armchair lot might
see something that the experts over-look.
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Message 1271496 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 13:41:58 UTC

Results of past water action?

jm

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Message 1271515 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 14:39:15 UTC

Sedimentary layers ?

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Message 1271551 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 16:32:39 UTC

You have not been to the places i have been and found a `house brick` in the middle of nowhere . . .

Clearly my education has been sadly lacking .... ;-)

Dry stone walling is an art form in the North of England.

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Message 1271560 - Posted: 14 Aug 2012, 16:53:08 UTC - in response to Message 1271551.
Last modified: 14 Aug 2012, 16:53:48 UTC

You have not been to the places i have been and found a `house brick` in the middle of nowhere . . .

Clearly my education has been sadly lacking .... ;-)

Dry stone walling is an art form in the North of England....

....and on Mars too by the looks of things. Anyone got an idea on what we are
actually seeing here with these two small block formations in that shot?
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Message 1271936 - Posted: 17 Aug 2012, 10:26:39 UTC

I have seen similar formations where igneous rock has intruded into softer rock (perhapes sedimentary but not always). If the two phases therafter errode differentially the result can be exposure of the intrusion in its origional plane.

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Message 1272317 - Posted: 17 Aug 2012, 22:13:22 UTC - in response to Message 1271936.


Curiosity's First Rock Star, Up-Close


Enjoy!
Lynn

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Message 1272752 - Posted: 18 Aug 2012, 23:02:50 UTC

The invasion begins with the firing of teh lazors :)

RELEASE: 12-287

NASA CURIOSITY TEAM PINPOINTS SITE FOR FIRST DRIVE, FIRST LASER USE ON TAP THIS WEEKEND

WASHINGTON -- The scientists and engineers of NASA's Curiosity rover
mission have selected the first destination for their one-ton,
six-wheeled mobile Mars laboratory. The target area, named Glenelg,
is a natural intersection of three kinds of terrain. The choice was
described by Curiosity Principal Investigator John Grotzinger of the
California Institute of Technology during a media teleconference on
Aug. 17.

"With such a great landing spot in Gale Crater, we literally had every
degree of the compass to choose from for our first drive," Grotzinger
said. "We had a bunch of strong contenders. It is the kind of dilemma
planetary scientists dream of, but you can only go one place for the
first drilling for a rock sample on Mars. That first drilling will be
a huge moment in the history of Mars exploration."

The trek to Glenelg will send the rover 1,300 feet (400 meters) east
southeast of its landing site. One of the three types of terrain
intersecting at Glenelg is layered bedrock, which is attractive as
the first drilling target.

"We're about ready to load our new destination into our GPS and head
out onto the open road," Grotzinger said. "Our challenge is there is
no GPS on Mars, so we have a roomful of rover-driver engineers
providing our turn-by-turn navigation for us."

Prior to the rover's trip to Glenelg, the team in charge of
Curiosity's Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, is planning
to give their mast-mounted rock-zapping laser and telescope
combination a thorough checkout. On Saturday night, ChemCam is
expected to "zap" its first rock in the name of planetary science. It
will be the first time such a powerful laser has been used on the
surface of another world.

"Rock N165 looks like your typical Mars rock, about three inches wide.
It's about 10 feet away," said Roger Wiens, principal investigator of
the ChemCam instrument from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New
Mexico. "We are going to hit it with 14 millijoules of energy 30
times in 10 seconds. It is not only going to be an excellent test of
our system, it should be pretty cool too."

Mission engineers are devoting more time to planning the first roll of
Curiosity. In the coming days, the rover will exercise each of its
four steerable (front and back) wheels, turning each of them
side-to-side before ending up with each wheel pointing straight
ahead. On a later day, the rover will drive forward about one
rover-length (10 feet, or 3 meters), turn 90 degrees, and then kick
into reverse for about 7 feet (2 meters).

"There will be a lot of important firsts that will be taking place for
Curiosity over the next few weeks, but the first motion of its
wheels, the first time our roving laboratory on Mars does some actual
roving, that will be something special," said Michael Watkins,
mission manager for Curiosity from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, Calif.

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft delivered Curiosity to its
target area on Mars at 10:31:45 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (1:31:45 a.m. EDT
on Aug. 6), which included the 13.8 minutes needed for confirmation
of the touchdown to be radioed to Earth at the speed of light.

The audio and visuals of the teleconference will be archived and
available for viewing at:

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl


The mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate
in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at
JPL, a division of Caltech. ChemCam was provided by Los Alamos
National Laboratory. France provided ChemCam's laser and telescope.

For more information about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/msl



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Message 1273098 - Posted: 19 Aug 2012, 21:08:38 UTC

Well that will be sure to bring the little green men out ...

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Message 1273431 - Posted: 20 Aug 2012, 17:57:39 UTC

Lovely pic !

Nice panaorama ....

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Message 1273622 - Posted: 21 Aug 2012, 6:35:40 UTC - in response to Message 1273431.

Lovely pic !

Nice panaorama ....

The rock formations in the middle of the picture clearly appear to have
suffered from a source of erosion different to those at the top of the picture.
To this end then wind can't be the whole reason for this as both layers would
appear then the same. Is this difference in erosion then due to liquids acting
upon the middle layer and not to the rocks in the top layer.


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Message 1273726 - Posted: 21 Aug 2012, 13:20:47 UTC

looks like an ancient riverbed with the water pushing up the smaller rocks onto the bank.

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