Awesome Photo of the Day: Parachuting to Mars

A stunning success
Science • Views: 31,597
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

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
NASA Studies Details of a Greening Arctic NASA scientists used almost 30 years of data from the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellites to track changes in vegetation in Alaska and Canada. Of the more than 4 million square miles, 30 percent had increases in vegetation (greening) ...
Thanos
11 hours, 6 minutes ago
Views: 129 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Don’t Let Mississippi Establish Anti-Gay Religion The federal law and its many state imitators apply equally to all sincere religious believers and their beliefs. The Mississippi statute doesn't. It begins by singling out three religious beliefs or moral convictions for protection. They are that “marriage ...
Thanos
20 hours, 13 minutes ago
Views: 380 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 44 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 1
Comments: 0
: 2
Brexit in Brussels: Juncker’s Mic Drop and Political Brexploitation The three presidents—Juncker along with Donald Tusk, who heads the European Council, and Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament—said they “expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon ...
Thanos
1 day, 21 hours ago
Views: 501 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 6 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Brexit: EU Spells Out Procedure for UK to Leave The European Union has clarified the way the UK can kickstart formal negotiations to exit the bloc following Thursday's referendum. It says Britain can trigger Article 50, which sets a two-year deadline for a deal, by making a formal ...
Thanos
1 day, 23 hours ago
Views: 380 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
With Donald Trump in Scotland, Hillary Clinton Rails Against His ‘Brexit’ Response Asked about Britain's plummeting currency in a part of the nation which had voted overwhelmingly to stay in the E.U., Trump noted a money-making opportunity: You know, when the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly. ...
Thanos
1 day, 23 hours ago
Views: 324 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Former Kansas Governors Form New Political Action Group to Oppose Brownback Four former Kansas governors and other state leaders have announced an effort to raise money to oppose policies and laws created in recent years by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature. The Save Kansas Coalition, which sent out ...
Thanos
2 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 665 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 49 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Likes: 6
Comments: 0
: 8
Cops Nab 3 ‘Vigilantes’ With Arsenal in Van at Holland Tunnel Last Week's good guys with multiple guns. blockquote>A search turned up five pistols, an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, four knives, 10 loaded clips of ammunition and a military-grade helmet. Along with Smith, John Cramsey, 50, and Kimberly Arendt, ...
Thanos
2 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 458 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Today’s Good Guy With a Gun Teaches Us How to Open a Door With a Sig Sauer Hey, it only took two magazines to open that door. Neighbour 'Refused Him Sex' So He 'Shot the House 33 Times' Cops suspect that Sparber had become infatuated with his neighbour and after getting drunk he attempted to shoot ...
Thanos
2 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 1,136 • Comments: 3 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Turkey Guilty Verdict for Depicting Erdogan as Gollum Did you ever notice how thin skinned bullies like to silence and punish their critics? A court in the south-western Antalya province gave Rifat Cetin a suspended one-year jail sentence and stripped him of parental custody rights. He has ...
Thanos
2 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 434 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Britain Is Leaving the EU. Here’s What That Means. Subscribe to our channel! goo.gl vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out vox.com to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan ...
Thanos
2 days, 17 hours ago
Views: 494 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 4 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1