Bits and Pieces...
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Bits and Pieces...
ESP_028269_1755  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
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NASA's Mars Science Laboratory was lowered to the Martian surface via the sky crane, a rocket propelled stage that used its rockets to gently deliver the rover to the surface. As soon as the rover touched the surface, explosive bolts triggered to released from it from its tethers.

The sky crane then tilted 45 degrees and flew away until it ran out of fuel, at which point it crashed onto the surface. The subimage shown here shows the sky crane's impact site, as the sky crane careened in roughly from the northwest. The impact disturbed the bright dust, revealing the darker rocky substrate. It was no light impact.

Possible pieces of the sky crane, appearing as small white dots within and at the end of the some of these dark streaks, are visible in the image and the zoomed-in version of the inset (arrows).

Written by: Eldar Noe


Oblique View of Mount Sharp in Gale Crater

This image was acquired 24 hours after MSL landed to locate the hardware on the surface.

The color strip didn't cover the hardware, but does provide a spectacular oblique view of the central mound or "Mount Sharp" (Aeolis Mons).

The viewing angle is 45 degrees, like looking out an airplane window. The subimage has been rotated 90 degrees to provide this perspective.

Written by: Alfred McEwen

(5 September 2012)

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Acquisition date:07 August 2012 Local Mars time: 3:15 PM
Latitude (centered):-4.624° Longitude (East):137.402°
Range to target site:367.2 km (229.5 miles)Original image scale range:36.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~110 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:44.9° Phase angle:93.1°
Solar incidence angle:51°, with the Sun about 39° above the horizon Solar longitude:151.2°, Northern Summer
For non-map projected products:
North azimuth:96° Sub-solar azimuth:32.6°
For map-projected products
North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:199.0°

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All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible: Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Postscript
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.