Monday, August 6, 2012

MSL Mars Rover "Curosity" First Images!

We are proud to announce that at approximately 1:40 EDT this morning, the Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" land successfully on Mars. One of the first actions that occurred was the use of its HazCam or Hazard Awareness Cameras. I am proud to be bringing you the most difficult missions to date. NASA has downsampled these images so the resolution isn't the greatest, nor is the size large at this time.

 This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right A (FHAZ_RIGHT_A)
onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 0 (2012-08-06 05:20:36 UTC)
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

You are looking forward on the Curiosity rover. The dust cover is still on as we are looking through it. Dust has collected along the edges. In this image you can see the shadow of the unfolded rover on the ground. As the HazCam is facing relatively at a diagonal angle pointing towards the ground, you will not see the horizon at this time. Once ground operations continue, the dust cover will be removed, and the remaining imaging tools will be deployed. We will eventually see images from its PanCam "Panorama Camera" and NavCam
"Navigation Camera."

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 This is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on the left "eye" of a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance cameras on the left-rear side of the rover. The image is one-half of full resolution. The clear dust cover that protected the camera during landing has been sprung open. Part of the spring that released the dust cover can be seen at the bottom right, near the rover's wheel.

On the top left, part of the rover's power supply is visible.

Some dust appears on the lens even with the dust cover off.

The cameras are looking directly into the sun, so the top of the image is saturated. Looking straight into the sun does not harm the cameras. The lines across the top are an artifact called "blooming" that occurs in the camera's detector because of the saturation.

The "mountain" you see on the top right of the images is part of the rim of Gale Crater.

As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images from other cameras are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed.

This image was taken by Rear Hazcam: Left A (RHAZ_LEFT_A)
onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 0 (2012-08-06 06:03:27 UTC) .
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

You are looking behind the Rover. You will notice this is the first glimpse of the Sun for Curiosity as it runs low along the horizon in the distance.

Additional images from future Sols will be posted once received. Watch the coverage at PlanetaryTV.

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