The Mars Report – September 21, 2012


September 21, 2012

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An incredible ‘Mars Report’ I have for you, today. We have the regular updates on Curiosity’s Martian travels, and another ‘self-portrait’ by Curiosity (in unique circumstances, through) and a closing shot that is just incredible. I have been absent, for the past five days, and for that I apologize. My condition has taken a sharp turn for the worse, and I have been working to find some amount of comfort with these changes. I promise, I am ‘back’ and will redouble my efforts to keep you informed and entertained.

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Now, for our first image of this ‘Mars Report’ maps the movement of Curiosity since it landed on Mars. We can see where Curiosity started in ‘Bradbury Landing’ and is headed toward ‘Glenelg’. The numbers, in the image, are the Sol ‘days’ of Curiosity’s Martian adventure. Curiosity arrived on the 16th day, since launch, and is now stopped in its 42ndday.

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Curiosity's Martian Journey So Far

Curiosity’s Martian Journey So Far

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Our next image is a panoramic of the Glenelg area that Curiosity’s destination. If you look very closely (at the larger image, when you click on the image) you can ‘see’ the reason NASA/JPL have Curiosity headed to this area. Note the large dark bands in the rock face in this area. They are looking to see if these ‘bands’ are made up of volcanic rock. If these bands are volcanic rock this would be a great place to start to ‘date’ the volcanic incident and maybe gain insight as to ‘where’ the Martian water (and atmosphere) went at the end of Mars’s life.

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Mast Cam Image of Genaleg

A Panoramic View of Glenelg, Curiosity’s Current Goal

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Here is the most recent shot, from Curiosity on Mars. This is an unusual rock that Curiosity has stumbled upon. “The rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. The rover team has assessed it as a suitable target for the first use of Curiosity’s contact instruments on a rock. The image was taken by the left Navigation camera (Navcam) at the end of the drive.”  As quoted from the J.P.L. web site. I don’t usually ‘do’ that, but I thought they had explained about the rock just about as well as anyone could!

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Curious Rock found by Curiosity

Curious Rock found by Curiosity

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Wow, this next image gives us some idea of the conditions Curiosity is dealing with on its Martian adventure. This is a ‘self-portrait’ of the mast cam, during a sand storm on Mars. This was a particularly bad sand storm and NASA/JPL wanted to see how the mast cam faired in these conditions. It seems that the mast cam is going to weather the Martian storms in stride.

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Curiosity Self-Portrait in Sand Storm

Curiosity Self-Portrait in Sand Storm

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Our next to the last shot is of the underside of Curiosity. This is done, periodically, to check on the status of the rover. To see if any objects have attached themselves to Curiosity and to make sure that there is no leakage or damage. I just like seeing the underside of the rover, and we can see ALL the larger wheels in this shot.

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Curiosity Bell Check Image

Another Unique Image of the Underside of Curiosity

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Now for the last image of this issue of ‘The Mars Report’ and the best image I could find. This is an enhanced color image of dunes trapped in an impact crater in Noachis Terra, Mars. This image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This mission to Mars is unique in many ways. However, the fact that we have three orbiting platforms active while Curiosity is roving the Martian terrain makes this mission once in a lifetime. We can see areas and objects on the Martian surface, from orbital platforms, then approach and investigate the same features via Curiosity. This is an incredible time, in non-manned space exploration and thereason I am spending all this time writing about Mars and Curiosity. Enjoy!

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Dunes in Noachis Terra Region of Mars

Dunes in Noachis Terra Region of Mars

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That brings us to the end of this ‘The Mars Report’. I hope that you have enjoyed your time here @ The Other Shoe, and that you will find your way back here, soon. I greatly appreciate your ‘Sharing’ and ‘Liking’ my articles and stories. You doing that, sharing my work with your friends, helps me reach a larger audiance and improves my chances of meeting my goals.

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Thank you for your generosity and kindness in this my time of need.

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Daniel's Moving Assistance Fund

Daniel’s Moving Assistance Fund


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About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

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