More Impact Craters from MSL
More Impact Craters from MSL
ESP_030524_1755  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
The Mars Science Laboratory mission released a total of 8 tungsten masses for balance purposes during entry and descent. Two 75-kilogram masses were released at the top of the atmosphere, and the resultant craters were probably imaged in ESP_029245_1755.

At a much lower altitude, six 25-kilogram masses were released shortly before deployment of the parachute in a maneuver called Straighten Up and Flight Right (SUFR), to realign the capsule center of mass with the parachute axis of symmetry. These six impact sites were first detected by CTX. This HiRISE image reveals impact craters about 2 meters wide. We captured four of these craters in enhanced color.

HiRISE has now imaged the crash sites for these 8 tungsten masses, parts of the cruise stage, the heat shield, the backshell and parachute, and the descent stage. Most of the stuff we sent to Mars crashed on the surface--everything except the Curiosity rover.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio by Tre Gibbs)  (27 February 2013)
Acquisition date
29 January 2013

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
267.4 km (166.2 miles)

Original image scale range
28.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
49°, with the Sun about 41° above the horizon

Solar longitude
254.6°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  94°
Sub-solar azimuth:  336.2°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (543MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (261MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (210MB)
non-map           (294MB)

IRB color
map projected  (61MB)
non-map           (236MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (134MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (127MB)

RGB color
non map           (233MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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:

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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.