Awesome Photo of the Day: Parachuting to Mars

A stunning success
Science • Views: 31,969
Click to enlarge

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this astounding image of the Curiosity Rover descending to the surface of Mars.

NASA’s Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from the rover. Curiosity and its parachute are in the center of the white box; the inset image is a cutout of the rover stretched to avoid saturation. The rover is descending toward the etched plains just north of the sand dunes that fringe “Mt. Sharp.” From the perspective of the orbiter, the parachute and Curiosity are flying at an angle relative to the surface, so the landing site does not appear directly below the rover.

The parachute appears fully inflated and performing perfectly. Details in the parachute, such as the band gap at the edges and the central hole, are clearly seen. The cords connecting the parachute to the back shell cannot be seen, although they were seen in the image of NASA’s Phoenix lander descending, perhaps due to the difference in lighting angles. The bright spot on the back shell containing Curiosity might be a specular reflection off of a shiny area. Curiosity was released from the back shell sometime after this image was acquired.

This view is one product from an observation made by HiRISE targeted to the expected location of Curiosity about one minute prior to landing. It was captured in HiRISE CCD RED1, near the eastern edge of the swath width (there is a RED0 at the very edge). This means that the rover was a bit further east or downrange than predicted.

The image scale is 13.2 inches (33.6 centimeters) per pixel.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Resurgence of Intellectual Racists Like Raymond Wolters in the Trump Era Intellectual racism, in its cultural and pseudoscientific guises, is having a bit of a renaissance of late. At least, it's receiving more attention than at any time since the debut of "The Bell Curve," the 1994 book by Richard ...
Birth Control Works
3 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 98 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
Trump Targets Dodd-Frank Rules Designed to Wall Off Risky Banks President Trump, who has vowed to dismantle the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law, took aim at two of its pillars Friday. During an appearance at the Treasury Department, Trump signed two presidential memos ordering six-month reviews of the 2010 ...
Birth Control Works
3 hours, 56 minutes ago
Views: 99 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
This Wasn’t the First Act of ‘River Piracy’ to Affect the Yukon’s Biggest Lake Image: Kluane11.jpg Author: Dermot Cole, Alaska Dispatch News Canadian geologist John Clague, whose research on Kluane Lake began in 1980, has long believed that the biggest river flowing into the largest lake in the Yukon Territory could be switched ...
Cheechako
4 hours, 8 minutes ago
Views: 83 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
BBC Radio 4 - Seriously… - Seriously… - 10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi 10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi As the Radio 4 documentary Herland examines how science fiction tackles ideas of gender in future worlds, we present a selection of great female authors who have radically altered the genre... Mary Shelley Credited ...
Birth Control Works
4 hours, 23 minutes ago
Views: 117 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Housing Vouchers Would Change the Face of Poverty - Vice VICE: What should every renter understand about their rights?Matthew Desmond: Rights vary from city to city, so getting to know your rights is a matter of knowing where you live, as they can actually be very fair. For example, ...
Birth Control Works
4 hours, 45 minutes ago
Views: 109 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Craig Finn - ‘Be Honest’ (Live at WFUV)wfuv.org • Follow @wfuv: ow.ly Craig Finn performs "Be Honest" live in Studio A. Recorded 2.21.17. Host: Eric HollandAudio: Jim O'HaraCameras: Sabrina Sitton, Michael Sperling, Kevin O'Malley & Alexandra ReillyEditor: Kevin O'Malley & Sarah Burns
Tarkloon
5 hours, 1 minute ago
Views: 77 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger - Official Trailer Get your first look at the upcoming Freeform TV series about the two young Marvel heroes, starring Olivia Holt as Dagger and Aubrey Joseph as Cloak. Watch more trailers here! Check out the latest and greatest from IGN here! ...
Tarkloon
5 hours, 22 minutes ago
Views: 77 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Twenty One Pilots: Heavydirtysoul [OFFICIAL VIDEO] twenty one pilots' music video for 'Heavydirtysoul' from the album, Blurryface - available now on Fueled By Ramen. Get it on… iTunes: smarturl.itGoogle Play: smarturl.itAmazon: smarturl.itSpotify: smarturl.itWebstore: bit.ly find twenty one pilots on… Site: twentyonepilots.comFacebook: facebook.comInstagram: instagr.amTwitter: @twentyonepilotsYouTube: youtube.comTumblr: ...
Tarkloon
5 hours, 26 minutes ago
Views: 71 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Paramore: Hard Times [OFFICIAL VIDEO] Paramore's music video for 'Hard Times' from the upcoming album, After Laughter - available May 12th on Fueled By Ramen. Pre-order it at smarturl.it Exclusive Pre-order Bundles: smarturl.it find Paramore on... Facebook: facebook.comTwitter: @paramoreInstagram: instagram.comTumblr: paramore.tumblr.comYouTube: youtube.comSite: paramore.netStore: smarturl.it ...
Tarkloon
5 hours, 31 minutes ago
Views: 86 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Shows Earth and Its Moon From Between Saturn’s Rings NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which orbits Saturn, took a picture of Earth from between Saturn's rings — with Earth's moon doing a bit of photobombing. Captured at 1:41 a.m. Eastern on April 12, 2017, the spacecraft was 870 million miles ...
Birth Control Works
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 193 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1