It’s been three months since NASA’s Curiosity rover set foot wheels down on Martian terrain, and now the space agency has divulged what it’s learned about radiation on Mars. Marking the first time radiation has been measured from the surface of another planet, preliminary data collected using the rover’s Radiation Assessment Detector (or RAD for short) revealed that levels on the ground are similar to what astronauts encounter on the International Space Station. What’s that mean for space travel? “The astronauts can live in this environment,” Don Hassler, principal investigator on Curiosity’s RAD hardware, said in a press conference. However, humans would still experience higher levels of radiation on the way to and from the red planet than on its surface. The results are encouraging, but they’re just one of many developments left before Homo sapiens set foot on Mars. For more details on the RAD’s findings, look below for the press release.
This is a self portrait taken by the Mars Rover Curiosity with Mount Sharp in the background. Presumably it’s a mirror shot because I don’t see the arm it used to take the pic. Fine, it’s actually a composite of 55 different images. You just had to ruin all the fun, didn’t you? Here I was having a great time imaging Curiosity taking shots of itself in the bathroom mirror, and you had to go and take it away from me. I hate you for that. God, you make me want to drink. Antifreeze.
Thanks to bri79, who likes to take pictures of himself in those windows that are reflective like mirrors on the outside, but have people working in an office on the inside. Oh man, I always pick my teeth in those.
Curiosity had just taken its first scoop of Martian soil for analysis when an operator here on earth noticed a mysterious metallic object on the ground beneath the rover. WHAT COULD IT BE?! Is it a little robotic beetle? A new element? Something much, MUCH less exciting?
The image–taken by the right Mast Camera during the mission’s 61st Martian day–shows Curiosity’s robotic arm’s scoop full of sand and dust, waiting to be deposited inside its analysis unit. But, after looking closer at the photo, someone noticed that unusual bright piece.
The scooping operation was then halted and the rover was instructed to take a closer look of the object, which hasn’t arrived yet to ground control.
SPOILER: It’s a screw. If it looks like a screw, it’s probably a screw. I give it a day before a wheel falls off. Then the Martians are gonna think we’re just a bunch of rednecks who’ve only come to their planet to park our broken-ass cars in their yards. We’re not all like that, I swear! (Please don’t vaporize earth)
Thanks to Douglass, sherm and Chris, who agree it’s never a good sign to find pieces of your vehicle not attached to your vehicle.
Yes, seriously. NASA announced on Wednesday that its Curiosity rover had “checked in” on Mars via Foursquare. Marking the first check in from another world, the robotic rover will utilize the location-minded social network to share updates and pictures while visiting the Red Planet. While Curiosity will continue to explore the possibilities of Mars being able to sustain life, it would appear that the fourth planet from the sun just got a brand new mayor. Something tells us the universe’s rarest badge is about to be bestowed.
Filed under: Science
In outerspace news, the Curiosity Rover just beamed back some pictures to earth that scientists are saying provide proof-positive evidence that flowing water once existed on the red planet. Cool, now maybe if we time traveled back a billion years we could drink it.
Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream’s flow.
“From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep,” said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. “Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it.”
Damn, they even calculated how fast the water was moving! That’s science right there. SCIENCE, BROBRO. I love that stuff. E equals McSquares and all that.
Hit the jump for a closeup with the head of a peen-shaped rock circled for good measure.
Note: Seriously, just watch it. Sound effects are fake though.
Listen: I know I posted a Curiosity landing video earlier, but that thing looked like watching TV through a slow-moving ceiling fan compared to this one. THIS is a proper 30fps high definition version lovingly created by redditor Bard Canning over the last four weeks. Me? I haven’t done anything in the past four weeks but gain nine pounds.
“My version uses true motion-flow interpolation at 30fps,” explained Canning in an email to io9. “To my knowledge, I am the first person in the world to use utilize this method for this footage.” But he didn’t stop there.
Using pan and scan techniques, Canning says he actually upgraded the footage to enterprise-quality 50,000kbps 1080p resolution, enhanced colors and detail throughout the landing sequence, and even included practical sound effects — which, while not originally recorded by the spacecraft during its descent, adds to the viewing experience considerably.
You just have to see it to appreciate it. But it does get a little slow in the middle so if you have to take a bathroom break I’d do it between 1:00 and 1:30. My job makes us clock-out to take bathroom breaks though so I just pee in the trashcan. One time I accidentally kicked it over and the smell made the secretary vomit.
Hit the jump for the video.
Think it’s nifty when your carrier deigns to provide your smartphone with that long awaited OTA update? That’s nothing. Over the weekend, NASA’s Curiosity rover will be receiving its first long-distance OTA update — all the way out there on Mars. The goal is to transition both redundant main computers from software suited for landing the vehicle to software optimized for surface exploration — such as driving, obstacle avoidance and using the robotic arm. NASA calls it a “brain transplant” and points out that the software was actually uploaded during the flight from Earth. Now can someone please enable OTA downloads for the human brain? We’d really like to know kung fu. PR after the break.
Launched in November of 2011, last night NASA’s rover Curiosity successfully landed on Mars, ready to begin its two year mission to determine whether the red planet was ever capable of supporting life. Thankfully, everything went according to plan and didn’t end as just another expensive embarrassment. *eying diamond-and-gold encrusted peen* What was I thinking?
The $ 2.6 billion Curiosity made its dramatic arrival on Martian terrain in a spectacle popularly known as the “seven minutes of terror.”
This jaw-dropping landing process, involving a sky crane and the world’s largest supersonic parachute, allowed the spacecraft carrying Curiosity to target the landing area that scientists had meticulously chosen.
The spacecraft had been traveling away from Earth since November 26 on a journey of approximately 352 million miles (567 million kilometers), according to NASA.
Curiosity, which will be controlled from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has a full suite of sophisticated tools for exploring Mars. They include 17 cameras, a laser that can survey the composition of rocks from a distance and instruments that can analyze samples from soil or rocks.
352 million miles — I can’t even fathom that distance. Of course, sometimes the liquor store seems forever away too and I can actually see it from my bedroom window. Sometimes I stay up at night just staring at the neon sign and wondering. So it’s kinda like space in that regard too. High-five, NASA.
Thanks to everyone who sent this for still believing in space.
NASA is set to live-stream the landing of the Mars Rover Curiosity through the Xbox 360 dashboard this weekend, Major Nelson announced.
Users can take part in the event through the new Mars Rover section of the console dashboard which will allow them to access quizzes about the mission, learn about the engineering involved in its making, and join NASA TV live from mission control during the final moments before landing. In addition, a free Kinect Mars Rover simulator is available for download.
The scheduled landing will be shown live on twin LED displays in New York’s Times Square, as well as through Ustream, while audio from the mission’s control center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be made available through NASA’s online radio…
Visit my website at www.junglejoel.com – Microsoft has partnered with NASA to produce a new free Xbox game, where you can practice landing the Curiosity Rover. Please rate and comment, thanks! Credit NASA MicrosoftRelated Posts: