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Mars rover says: 'good evening gale crater!'

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New images and news:



Outcrops in Yellowknife Bay are being exposed by wind driven erosion. These rocks record superimposed ancient lake and stream deposits that offered past environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.



The ancient fresh water lake at the Yellowknife Bay existed for periods spanning perhaps millions to tens of millions of years in length – before eventually evaporating completely after Mars lost its thick atmosphere. This lake was likely ~30 miles long and 3 miles wide.

Curiosity revealed the presence of clay minerals. These clay minerals form in neutral pH water that is ‘drinkable” and conducive to the formation of life.
 
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After a decade of exploring the Martian surface, the scientists overseeing veteran rover
Opportunity thought they’d seen it all. That was until a rock mysteriously "appeared" a few feet in front of the six-wheeled rover a few days ago.
News of the errant rock was announced by NASA Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist Steve
Squyres of Cornell University at a special NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory " 10 years of roving
Mars " event at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday night. The science star-studded public event was held in celebration of the decade since
twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on the red planet in January 2004.
http://m.space.com/24330-mars-rover-mystery-rock-appears.html?cmpid=514630_20140118_17228644
 
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Mussels

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i lost this thread when the forum updated, yay for space rocks!
 
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micropage7 said:
After a decade of exploring the Martian surface, the scientists overseeing veteran rover
Opportunity thought they’d seen it all. That was until a rock mysteriously "appeared" a few feet in front of the six-wheeled rover a few days ago.
Here's a colored version of that thing:





And two new b/w shots:



 

Mussels

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might be a chunk of debris that was stuck to the rover?
 

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yeah i'm seeing holes in those wheels where holes dont belong, i reckon that mystery object was a chewed up piece of rover
 
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Close-up pictures of well worn wheels











And this underbelly picture shows how it looked earlier

the second picture, theres crack on the wheel.
i never thought that the terrain could affect the wheels so much
 
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As Bender Rodriguez would say...


Neat!
 
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i just think, its just far far away
and this is one of great achievement of technology
note: i still thinking of the crack on the wheel, its like hitting something in 90 km/h, im wondering what could crack the wheel
 
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May have been damaged in the landing for all we know.
 
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New shot:



Plus two new photos made by a sharp-eyed NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. You can spot Curiosity trundling across the Red Planet, on its way to the base of a huge and mysterious mountain.



The rover is near the lower-left corner of this view. For scale, the two parallel lines of the wheel tracks are about 3m apart.



Two parallel tracks left by the wheels of NASA's Curiosity. The rover itself does not appear in this image.
 
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New shot:



Plus two new photos made by a sharp-eyed NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. You can spot Curiosity trundling across the Red Planet, on its way to the base of a huge and mysterious mountain.



The rover is near the lower-left corner of this view. For scale, the two parallel lines of the wheel tracks are about 3m apart.



Two parallel tracks left by the wheels of NASA's Curiosity. The rover itself does not appear in this image.
personally i would see whats on the right lower part, its like sand or dried lake
 
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may i add more?

Rough Roving: Curiosity's Wheel Damage 'Accelerated'


On Friday (Dec. 20), NASA's Mars Science Laboratory team announced that they were monitoring Curiosity's wheels. The rover's six wheels appear to have sustained accelerated damage as the one-ton rover drives over the rocky terrain inside Gale Crater. Although the aircraft-grade aluminum is designed to withstand some dents and holes, some of the rips and gashes in between the wheels' treads are causing concern. In this selection of "before and after" photos from Curiosity's raw image archive, we've pulled some photos taken by Curiosity's robotic-arm mounted MAHLI camera. The dates and the day (sol) of Curiosity's mission are noted
http://news.discovery.com/space/martian-wear-and-tear-curiositys-wheel-damage-photos-131220.htm



A photograph taken by Curiosity's robotic arm-mounted Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on Dec. 20 (Sol 488) shows marked wear and tear on the rover's front left wheel. Punctures in the rover's thin aluminum are highlighted by the arrows.

In May, Discovery News reported the dramatic signs of wear and tear on Mars rover Curiosity’s wheels. The aircraft-grade aluminum material appeared scratched, dented, even punctured.

At the time, lead rover driver Matt Heverly said that the damage was to be expected. “The ‘skin’ of the wheel is only 0.75mm thick and we expect dents, dings, and even a few holes due to the wheels interacting with the rocks,” he said via email. Despite the assurances that the holes were just a part of Curiosity’s mission, there seems to be increasing concern for the wheels’ worsening condition after the one-ton robot rolled over some craggy terrain.


In an upcoming driving activity for Curiosity, rover drivers will command Curiosity to rove across a relatively smooth area of the Martian surface. Throughout the drive, Curiosity’s powerful MAHLI camera, which is mounted to the end of the rover’s robotic arm, will monitor the condition of the wheels.

“We want to take a full inventory of the condition of the wheels,” said Jim Erickson, project manager for the NASA Mars Science Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “Dents and holes were anticipated, but the amount of wear appears to have accelerated in the past month or so. It appears to be correlated with driving over rougher terrain. The wheels can sustain significant damage without impairing the rover’s ability to drive. However, we would like to understand the impact that this terrain type has on the wheels, to help with planning future drives.”


Curiosity has recent endured some challenging terrain laced with sharp rocks protruding from the ground. These rocks have caused some perforations in the six wheels, sometimes peeling back flaps of cut aluminum.

Depending on the outcome of the upcoming monitoring session, mission managers may need to better factor in the roughness of terrain of Curiosity’s future drives, re-routing if necessary.

Since landing inside Gale Crater in August 2012, Curiosity has driven a little under three miles, so damage to the wheels was going to be inevitable. But the rover hasn’t even begun the tough drive up the slopes of Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp), a 5.5 kilometer-high mountain in the center of the crater — the ultimate goal of the mission to piece together the habitability puzzle of the red planet. There will undoubtedly be some tense times ahead for the rover team, especially if the rough terrain continues to chew up the six aluminum wheels.

http://news.discovery.com/space/rough-roving-curiositys-wheel-damage-accelerated-131220.htm
 
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View from Curiosity’s navigational camera on Jan. 8, 2014



This is a portion of the first color 360-degree panorama from NASA's Curiosity





Full-resolution selfie and more





black n white looks pretty dramatic but color looks amazing
thankz for updating
 
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View from Curiosity’s navigational camera on Jan. 8, 2014



This is a portion of the first color 360-degree panorama from NASA's Curiosity





Full-resolution selfie and more





black n white looks pretty dramatic but color looks amazing
thankz for updating
 
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When they do the color correction I swear you could just walk around up there. Looks like Nevada.

Also as smart as the engineers at NASA are (Lots of respect here) you would think they would have used a better material than aluminum for the wheels. I mean honestly that was a dumb choice. Titanium or even 1080 carbon steel (heavy I know) would have been a far better choice. I mean 1 ton stilling on paper thin aluminum? Not smart.
 
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View from Curiosity’s navigational camera on Jan. 8, 2014



This is a portion of the first color 360-degree panorama from NASA's Curiosity





Full-resolution selfie and more





black n white looks pretty dramatic but color looks amazing
thankz for updating