Sunday, August 4, 2013

(04-08-2013) 12 months of NASA’s Curiosity rover in 2 minutes [ G4dG33t ]

12 months of NASA's Curiosity rover in 2 minutes Aug 4th 2013, 21:59

Science! By Ryan Whitwam Aug. 3, 2013 10:01 am

Curiosity Rover

Can you believe it has been almost a year since NASA's Curiosity rover arrived on Mars aboard it's crazy rocket sled? It has spent those months rolling around the Martian surface, scooping up clumps of soil and drilling holes as it performs experiments. In celebration of one year on Mars, NASA has assembled a video of Curiosity's time on the Red Planet.

Curiosity landed in Gale Crater on Mars August 6, 2002 and is scheduled for a two-year mission. However, most successful rover missions on Mars have traditionally been extended far beyond their original parameters. Curiosity's goals include determining the role water played in Mars' history, and gather additional geological and climate data.

The video is composed of 548 still images captured by a front-facing fisheye camera known as the Hazard-Avoidance Camera. The name should give you a pretty good idea what it's for — NASA uses it to ensure there are no obstacles in Curiosity's path that could catch on the underside of the rover. You can't exactly walk out there and lift the rover off a rock when it's on a different planet.

The video doesn't really contain anything unexpected. The robot arm is swinging out across the surface, poking and scooping. The front wheels on the car-sized rover are visible at the edges of the wide-angle lens. What makes this amazing is simply that humans built a machine, shot it into space, landed it on another planet, and it's spent the last year doing science and beaming images back. Also, it's been taking selfies. Truly humanity has reached new heights.

Now read: Geek Answers: Why doesn't the ISS have artificial gravity?