Monday, August 06, 2012

Curiosity Landed on Mars


There are two craft flying around Mars. I hadn't realized that the Curiosity landing was timed so that it could be photographed by them. I believe there is a video still to come but here's a photo of Curiosity with its supersonic parachute deployed as taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:


"The simple and sheer amazingness of this picture cannot be overstated. Here we have a picture taken by a camera on board a space probe that’s been orbiting Mars for six years, reset and re-aimed by programmers hundreds of millions of kilometers away using math and science pioneered centuries ago, so that it could catch the fleeting view of another machine we humans flung across space, traveling hundreds of million of kilometers to another world at mind-bending speeds, only to gently – and perfectly – touch down on the surface mere minutes later."

To add more to that, MRO is orbiting Mars at about 2 miles per second, the camera that took this, HiRISE, is actually a 20 inch diameter telescope, at the time Curiosity was moving between 200 and 900 miles per hour.

@MarsCuriosity if the official twitter account. It has a sense of humor:

10:31PM: "I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL"

which is referencing a Wil Wheaton standard joke. and...

10:47PM No photo or it didn't happen? Well lookee here, I'm casting a shadow on the ground in Mars' Gale crater #MSL

Some other tweets I found amusing:@timhwang: "A+++++ WOULD LAND AGAIN GREAT SHIPPING PRODUCT EXACTLY AS DESCRIBED"

@rsingel: "Curiousity would send more photos, but man, do you know what AT&T charges for planetary data roaming?"

@loweringthebar: "Putting a robot on Mars: $2.5 billion. TSA budget 2012: $7.85 billion. And the robot works."

@Prospectus: "NBC paid $1.3 Billion for Olympics rights. Queen’s diamond jubilee cost £3 Billion. Curiosity cost $2.5 Billion."

@NicklnNC: "In case you missed it earlier - Curiosity cost $2.5B. Americans spend $7B on potato chips annually. To say we can't afford this is nonsense."

@somebadideas: "Fuck it let's start a kickstarter for NASA (in all seriousness low orbit is now domain of entrepreneurship almost wholly)"

I hope this response gets more play:

@cthulhucore: "Lots of people harping on about "crowd funding" NASA. Know what the original crowd funding is? Taxation. Give NASA more tax $$$"

And this one:

@misterjayem: "Reminder: Government programs can't ever accomplish anything ever. #NASA #FTW"

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