The Mars Report – March 31st, 2014


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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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          Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today I have a very informative edition of ‘The Mars Report’ for all of you, My Dear Readers. The image you see above is an artist’s concept of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This orbiter has many missions and two of them are in support to the rover Curiosity. First, this orbiter takes high-resolution images of the Martian surface. These images are then used to plot Curiosity’s navigation and course. Second, the orbiter relays information and images from the rover to earth.

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Now, I had not been keeping up with the mission (daily) like before all the new additions to The Other Shoe. Seems that the orbiter took a bit of a break. On March 9th the reconnaissance orbiter went offline as it switched computers, from primary to backup. This left a vital link in communications from Curiosity to earth and us. That has left people, like myself, quite bereft of new mages to share with our readers. I have five images that I am here to share, today. However, we might not see ‘The Mars Report’ next week if there are no new images of science to report. Just a little FYI.

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Our next image is of the rover Curiosity. This is a selfie taken of a shadow of the rover. The shadow falls on a slope of the McClure-Beverlin Escarpment. This escarpment is located on on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The images was taken on March 20, 2014 by the rover’s rear hazard-avoidance camera. Well, we humans just love taking selfies, now it is Curiosity’s turn.

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Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope

Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope

(Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope)

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With the orbiter back up and running, a new discovery was made on the Martian surface. Our next image is of that discovery, an all new gully. Taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) of the orbiter on two different occasions. The image to the left was taken November 2010 and the image on the right was taken May 2013. The second image reveals the formation of a new gully on the crater wall slope of the southern highlands. It is believed that it was formed by activity by carbon dioxide frost.

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New Gully Found on Mars CO2 Ice

New Gully Found on Mars CO2 Ice

(New Gully Found on Mars CO2 Ice)

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Switching back to a black/white image, the shot below is of rock rows on striated ground. These rock rows are in the foreground of this image. In the background we can see our, eventual, goal Mount Sharp. The rock rows are in an outcrop called “Junda”. Curiosity passed this outcrop during a drive of 328 feet (100 meters) on Feb. 19. 2014.

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Martian Landscape With Rock Rows and Mount Sharp

Martian Landscape With Rock Rows and Mount Sharp

(Martian Landscape With Rock Rows and Mount Sharp)

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Ahhh, we are getting close to the end of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’ so I am getting to the really good images. Joy! Our next image is one that I have searched for… for many months. Taken with the combination images from the the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Platform, in orbit over the Martian surface. This image shows… … … (drum roll, please!) … the route driven and route planned for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover from before reaching “Dingo Gap”. Now, this is a ‘Must Keep’ image for all hardcore Curiosity fans and Martian Fanboys. If I had the money? I would have this puppy enlarged, wall sided, and put it up on a wall in my apartment. Yes, I am a ‘Martian Fanboy’… if you hadn’t already guessed that by the ongoing weekly article series.

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Map of Recent and Planned Driving by Curiosity as of Feb. 18, 2014

Map of Recent and Planned Driving by Curiosity as of Feb. 18, 2014

(Map of Recent and Planned Driving by Curiosity as of Feb. 18, 2014)

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Well, My Dear Readers, this brings us to our final image of the day for this edition of ‘The Mars Report’. As I mentioned earlier, depending on available materials next Monday there may or may not be an edition next Monday. I really hope that they get the uploads flying and post lots and lots of images in the next week. The Mast Camera on the rover Curiosity took our final image of the day. This image was taken February 25th, 2014, about a quarter mile out from our next waypoint ‘The Kimberly’. This image shows sandstone layers with varying resistance to erosion are evident in this Martian scene. This is important because so far, on our trip with Curiosity, we have only encountered mudstone formations.

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This is the why of my hopes that they get the orbiter busy relaying more and more images from this sandstone area. As well, there is a real opportunity for a lot of good science in this area. So, as we bring this edition to an end, enjoy this final image from the Mast Camera of the rover Curiosity.

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Differential Erosion at Work on Martian Sandstones

Differential Erosion at Work on Martian Sandstones

(Differential Erosion at Work on Martian Sandstones)

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Thank you all for dropping by today and sharing these images. I hope that I have brought a little wonder into your world, today. That is the gift I give to you, My Dear Readers. Wonder.

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As always I am deeply honored that you come here and read my work.

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning

The Other Shoe’s Daniel Hanning 2/2014

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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!

One Response to The Mars Report – March 31st, 2014

  1. Pingback: A Week in Review – April 5th, 2014 | The Other Shoe

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