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Mars rover says: 'good evening gale crater!'

HammerON

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Wow! Great pics Drone:toast:
 

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Bloody long flight.
 
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NASA's Curiosity Rover Hammers Into 1st Mars Rock


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has pounded into a Martian rock with its hammering drill for the first time, as this picture snapped by the robot on Feb. 2, 2013 shows.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has pounded into a Red Planet rock with its drill for the first time, bringing the 1-ton robot a big step closer to initiating its first full-bore drilling operations.

The Curiosity rover hammered the rock using the arm-mounted drill's percussive action over the weekend, completing another test along the path toward spinning the bit and biting into rock for the first time.

"We tapped this rock on Mars with our drill. Keep it classy everyone," Curiosity flight director Bobak Ferdowsi — who gained fame as "Mohawk Guy" during the rover's nail-biting landing on the night of Aug. 5, 2012 — wrote in a Twitter post Sunday (Feb. 3), sharing a photo of the pounded rock.

Curiosity's drill can bore 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) into Martian rock, deeper than any rover has been able to go before. Using the drill and its associated systems is a complex operation, so the mission team has been building up slowly to the first drilling activity on the Red Planet.

Last week, Curiosity performed some "pre-load" tests, pressing down on a rock with its drill in several different places to see if the amount of force applied matches predictions.

The six-wheeled robot has also been carefully evaluating its target rock, which is part of an outcrop the mission team has named "John Klein," after a former Curiosity deputy project manager who died in 2011.

Curiosity's main goal is to determine if its Gale Crater landing site could ever have supported microbial life. Along with the rover's 10 science instruments and 17 cameras, the drill is viewed as key in this quest, as it allows Curiosity to dig deep into Martian rocks for potential signs of past habitability.

The mission team wants to test the drill out on a target with scientific value, and John Klein seems to qualify. The outcrop shows many signs of past exposure to liquid water, including light-colored mineral veins that were apparently deposited by flowing water long ago.

http://www.space.com/19620-mars-rover-curiosity-hammers-rock.html
 
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Mussels

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looks like a knob from a water tap
 
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It looks so surreal
 
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From the pics: it looks to me like the only thing alien about Mars is the rover itself! Lol Edit: I am amazed that small thing can power enough energy to send a image back to earth. A supercomputer right there with our limited technology.
 
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I wouldn't say SUPER computer; I gues it is impervious to radiation and extreme temperatures, but as far as power goes it has sbout the same power of my dumbphone.

"The rover is equipped with two computers, but only one is active at a time. Both are built around a radiation-hardened BAE RAD750 microchip operating at up to 200 megahertz. Each computer is equipped with 2 gigabytes of flash memory, 256 megabytes of random access memory and 256 kilobytes of erasable programmable read-only memory."

The RAD750s also meet lifetime dosage standards that are up to a million times more extreme than those considered fatal for a human being. As a result, over a 15-year period, the RAD750 chips aboard Curiosity would not be expected to suffer more than one external event requiring intervention from Earth.
"The RAD750 card is designed to accommodate all those single event effects and survive them," Vic Scuderi, BAE business manager for satellite electronics, said in an interview. "The ultimate goal is one upset is allowed in 15 years. An upset means an intervention from Earth -- one 'blue screen of death' in 15 years. We typically have contracts that (specify) that."

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-5...ugged-curiositys-computer-was-built-for-mars/
 
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for it's motorized efforts I am guessing it is sufficient enough for the job. I have heard that when they "drive" the rover from the launch control that it is a 7 second delay for each designated movement.
 
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Curiosity Rover Ready to Analyze Martian Time Capsule From Inside of Rock



After a long and careful hole drilling operation, NASA’s Curiosity rover has collected powdered rock representing the first sample ever acquired from the interior of Mars.

The tablespoon of crushed rock will be sent through the rover’s suite of state-of-the-art instruments, which will provide important information about the ancient landscape at Gale crater and its potential habitability. Curiosity has already uncovered evidence that the spot it is currently placed at, Yellowknife Bay, is an ancient riverbed with a complex history of water. The rover’s science team described the interior sample as time capsule preserving a record of the environment in which the rocks formed.

“We’ve been preparing for this for weeks and months so you can image how happy it makes us to see it successfully completed,” said engineer Avi Okron, a member of the rover drilling team, during a NASA press conference on Feb. 20.

About two weeks ago, Curiosity drilled its first 2-cm-deep test hole on Mars, followed a few days later by a full drill hole 6.4 cm deep. The rover’s rotary percussive drill hammered into the rock as it bored down, collecting a fine powder from at least 5 cm below the surface of the rock. This bit of crushed rock was placed in Curiosity’s scoop, where it was processed further and delivered to the rover’s internal instruments, CheMin and SAM. The former instrument will bombard the sample with X-rays to reveal its composition while the latter will identify the individual elements from inside the rock.

The local geology at Yellowknife Bay suggests that Curiosity will find a rich and complicated history of water. The area around the rover is made of large bedrocks featuring veins containing different minerals and spherical nodules. The rocks are made of fine grains, too small to be resolved by the rover’s hand-held MAHLI camera, indicating that they are likely either siltstone or mudstone, both of which could have been deposited by water. Since the interior sample hasn’t been exposed to surface weathering processes, they will provide a clean example of the early history of Mars and whether or not it was favorable to life.

Because this is the first time the rover’s drill has been used on Mars, the sample may still have some residual contaminants from Earth. The science team actually wants to analyze this impure material because the contaminants will be scrubbed away each time a new sample is taken. Researchers can watch as the contaminants disappear in subsequent samples and figure out exactly what came from our planet and what is native to Mars.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/curiosity-drill-sample/
 
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I wonder why the scoop has squared edges, Instead of being sharpened or toothed like a scoop from a backhoe or front end loader. Seems like it would make it harder to scoop up their drillings very well
 

Mussels

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isnt it being dropped there from the drill? they probably only exposed it like that to take a photo/drop the leftovers.
 
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sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon found on Mars . source.
 
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Curiosity’s Abandoned Parachute Still Flapping in the Wind on Mars


NASA’s Mars machines continue to work in beautiful tandem as seen in this image, where the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera captured the changing conditions of the landing parachute that brought the Curiosity rover safely to the ground nine months ago.

We’ve already seen lots of parts of Curiosity’s mission from space. HiRISE has snapped incredible images of the rover’s nail-biting descent, the scar marks left on the Martian surface from its ballast masses, and even its tracks on the ground as it explored habitable conditions in Mars’ past.

This latest animation consists of seven images taken from August to January showing the parachute blowing around in the wind. You can see the suspension lines that still hold the chute to Curiosity’s back shell, the bright shape in the upper half of the images. The parachute was the biggest ever used on another planet, and had a 15-meter diameter when fully open. Movement of the object in the wind continuously kicks off dust that would otherwise accumulate, helping to explain why the parachute from Viking 1 can still be seen from space nearly 40 years after it landed.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/04/curiosity-parachute-from-space/