The Mars Report – June 8th, 2015


Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Mojave' Site on Mount Sharp

Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Mojave’ Site on Mount Sharp

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(Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Mojave’ Site on Mount Sharp)

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Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe. As I promised last week, I am going to give it my very best to provide a full week’s worth of material and regular articles. Starting, today, with this full edition of ‘The Mars Report ’at The Other Shoe. Earlier today I started my search for images for this edition, and found that Curiosity has yet to send, of NASA has not processed, any newer images for me to share. Images, that is, from the Martian surface. I sorted through a large amount of RAW images, images that come via navigation, testing, and maneuvering and found them not up to my standards for publication.

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Therefore, I have opted to split this edition between a few images from/of Curiosity and the rest of the edition with images and information about the next NASA/JPL rover Insight[2]! She is still in sterile rooms and undergoing assembly, but NASA is anxious to build support. They are releasing a steady stream of images of the testing and assembly process, and I have some of those images for you, My Dear Shoevians! .

Our very first image, above, is a ‘Selfie’ taken by Curiosity January 2015. IT is a composite of many dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. I try to start out each and every edition of “The Mars Report’ with an image of the main subject of this series, the Martian rover Curiosity. We Shoevians have been following the sojourn of Curiosity since it’s landing at Bradbury Point August 6th, 2012. That means we will be celebrating its third year, this August, so mark your calendars!

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RAW MastCam Right May 30th 2015

RAW MastCam Right May 30th 2015

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(RAW Image MastCam Right May 30th 2015)

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The image, above, was taken just nine days ago, May 30th 2105, from Curiosity’s MastCam right imager. This shows the ground, to the right, of the rover when last they took positional images. This shows a mixed terrain with sandstone and harder rock outcrops. This image was taken from Mount Sharp as Curiosity descends from the summit.

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RAW MastCam Left May 30th 2015

RAW MastCam Left May 30th 2015

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(RAW Image MastCam Left May 30th 2015)

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Our next image, for today, is from the same MastCam from the Curiosity rover, but it was taken from the right side imager. Again, we can clearly see the mixed terrain of sandstone rock and harder outcrops. When we look at these images, side-by-side, it is easy to imagine that Curiosity is moving down crevice or gully for its decent. These outcrops stretch out higher than the viewing range of the MastCam. These rock faces must stretch over fifteen feet in height. What I wouldn’t give of moving images… a video of Curiosity’s decent, as see from these MastCam images.

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For our next, and final, image of/from Mars I have picked an incredibly impressive image taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on March 309th 2015. Taken with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, it shows a “fresh” crater on the Martian surface. The crater is “fresh” in geologic terms, but rather old when measured by the human lifespan. This impact carter is located in the the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars.

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Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae Region of Mars

Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae Region of Mars

[5]

(Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae Region of Mars)

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That, My Dear Shoevians, brings us to the end of the first part of today’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. There is one image, at the end of the article, taken by the Curiosity rover. It is of a Martian Sunset taken from Mount Sharp. Last week’s edition end with the same image, but it was a Gif and you could watch as the sun set over the Martian horizon. Today, we have a solitary image as the sun sets under the horizon. Hang on, that comes at the end of this article.

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Our next several images are all of the upcoming Martian Lander from NASA named ‘Insight’. This will not be a rover like; Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. This spacecraft will land on the Martian surface at a prime location, as scouted by the previous rovers. This location has been picked as most beneficial to the project with the highest concentrations of geologic formations and rock outcrops for analysis.

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Our fist image, in this series, if of the Insight Lander completely deployed, exactly as it will be when it lands on the Martian surface. With its solar array deployed, Insight looks a great deal like some prehistoric bug. One aspect, of the solar arrays, I am sure all of you, My Dear Shoevians, will notice. They look nothing like the solar; sails, shields, and arrays of the past several decades. Solar cell technology has changed, substantially, over the past decade. These solar arrays take full advantage of these changes and improvements. They area called “ gallium arsenide solar array panels”. For more information on the process, materials, and other improvements, click on the embedded link in the name, above. For most of us? The fact that they are dark black and orange, is well enough to know.

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InSight spacecraft solar array deployment

InSight spacecraft solar array deployment

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(InSight Lander in Mars-Surface Configuration)

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Awesome looking, huh? The image of the InSight Lander was taken inside a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. These solar arrays were deployed in this test while in the clean room. Can you imagine? You are taking a casual stroll, on the Martian surface, when you come upon this monster? WTH? J

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, we are going to go backward, chronologically speaking, for our next image. I wanted to show the InSight lander with the solar array fully deployed, first. It is visually striking, and helps to drawn in new readers. However, the next image I have for you was actually taken prior to the image above. This image is of the solar array during assembly and prior to the testing that see in our image above.

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`Solar-Array Deployment Test for InSight

Solar-Array Deployment Test for InSight

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(Solar-Array Deployment Test for InSight)

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, we move back even further in time for our next image. This image shows the development team during the initial assembly of the InSight lander in January of 2015. Again, we are in t clean room, with technicians donned in sterile suits and masks. In our next image, of this edition of “The Mars Report’, we see the InSight lander in its initial assembly.

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InSight Lander in Assembly

The InSight lander undergoing assembly in a clean room at Lockheed Martin.

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(InSight Lander in Assembly)

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, let’s get back into the ‘Way-Back Machine’ and move forward in time. Forward past the image that started this half of the article, and forward to January of this year. This is a shot of the InSight lander, completely assembled, and folded into its ‘stowed’ configuration. These are unique images, My Dear Shoevians. Images that NASA always takes, but usually does not release until just prior to a spacecraft’s landing. NASA is working hard to improve overall attention to its projects and accomplishments.

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Lowering Back Shell onto Stowed InSight Lander

The back shell of the InSight spacecraft is lowered onto the lander in a clean room at Lockheed Martin.

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(Lowering Back Shell onto Stowed InSight Lander)

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, that brings us to the end, and close, of this edition of “The Mars Report’. As I indicated, on Facebook, earlier this week you can look forward to; ‘Lost in Space’, ‘News from Around the World’, ‘A week in Review’ and ‘Sunday Funnies’. My cancer surgery will not be until next week… or the week after. So, I am determined to bring as much content to you, My Dear Shoevians, as I can… before I ‘go under the knife’.

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Our last image of the day is a revisit of our closing image from last week’s edition. This is a Martian Sunset as captured by the Curiosity Martian rover. I do not think it will become as iconic as the Earth-set taken on the moon, but who knows?

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Sunset in Mars' Gale Crater Curiosity Image

Sunset in Mars’ Gale Crater Curiosity Image

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(Sunset in Mars’ Gale Crater Curiosity Image)

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As always, My Dear Shoevians, I would like to express my deep and heartfelt “Thanks!” for dropping by and reading my work. If you have enjoyed your visit, be sure to tell others about ‘The Other Shoe’ and ‘The Mars Report’. Your kind words, ‘Shares’ and ‘Likes’ because that is what drives new traffic and more and more Shoevians.

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Thank you! .

Adieu!

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Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

 

[1] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/msl/pia19142

[2] http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/home.cfm

[3] http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/01000/mcam/1000MR0044630480503608E02_DXXX.jpg

[4] http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/01000/mcam/1000ML0044630500405147E01_DXXX.jpg

[5] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/fresh-crater-near-sirenum-fossae-region-of-mars

[6] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/pia19664/insight-lander-in-mars-surface-configuration

[7] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/pia19665/solar-array-deployment-test-for-insight/

[8] http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia19402_insight_lander_in_assembly_1-15-15a.jpg

[9] http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia19666_20150429_insight_backshell_install3.jpg

[10] http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7189

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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 – June 8th, 2015

  1. Pingback: The Mars Report – August 3rd, 2015 | The Other Shoe

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