. Mars Exploration News .

Orbiter Spies Where Rover's Cruise Stage Hit Mars
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 06, 2012

These images from the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show several impact scars on Mars made by pieces of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft that the spacecraft shed just before entering the Martian atmosphere. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona. For a larger version of this image please go here.

During the 10 minutes before the NASA Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere to deliver the rover Curiosity to the surface, the spacecraft shed its cruise stage, which had performed vital functions during the flight from Earth, and then jettisoned two 165-pound (75-kilogram) blocks of tungsten to gain aerodynamic lift.

Cameras on the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have imaged impact scars where the tungsten blocks and the broken-apart cruise stage hit about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of where Curiosity landed on Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (Aug. 6, UTC).

The images from the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera are online at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16456 .

Although hundreds of new impact sites have been imaged on Mars, researchers do not get independent information about the initial size, velocity, density, strength, or impact angle of the objects. For the Mars Science Laboratory hardware, such information is known, so study of this impact field will provide information on impact processes and Mars surface and atmospheric properties.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been examining Mars with six science instruments since 2006. Now in an extended mission, the orbiter continues to provide insights about the planet's ancient environments and about how processes such as wind, meteorite impacts and seasonal frosts are continuing to affect the Martian surface today. This mission has returned more data about Mars than all other orbital and surface missions combined.


Related Links
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
HiRoc at Arizona
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Mars Science Laboratory
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


Safe Driving on Mars
Boston MA (SPX) Dec 06, 2012
Matt Heverly doesn't like to make a big deal of his job as the lead driver of the most expensive car in the solar system-NASA's $2.5 billion, two-ton Curiosity rover, which is now roaming the surface of Mars. "Basically, I'm a taxi driver," says Heverly (ENG'05), a senior member of the technical staff in NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Scientists say, 'Please take me over t ... read more

To the moon and back for less than 2 billion dollars

NASA's GRAIL Creates Most Accurate Moon Gravity Map

Chinese astronauts may grow veg on Moon

WSU researchers use 3-D printer to make parts from moon rock

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Khrunichev Completes Nauka Space Station Module

New Crew of ISS to Perform Two Spacewalks

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... the Space Station

Space Station to reposition for science

Halfway Between Uranus and Neptune, New Horizons Cruises On

Dwarf planet Makemake lacks atmosphere

Keck Observations Bring Weather Of Uranus Into Sharp Focus

At Pluto, Moons and Debris May Be Hazardous to New Horizons Spacecraft During Flyby

Titan, Saturn's Largest Moon, Icier than Scientists Thought

NASA's Cassini Sees Abrupt Turn in Titan's Atmosphere

Cassini Finds a Video Gamers' Paradise at Saturn

Cassini Halloween Treat: Titan Glows in the Dark

NASA-NOAA Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night

Skybox Imaging Completes Significant Testing Milestone Preceding its First Satellite and Product Launch

Seeing stars, finding nukes: Radio telescopes can spot clandestine nuclear tests

Raytheon technology instrumental in creating "Black Marble" image

Civil Space 2013 Symposium

Scientists say NASA's budget inadequate for its goals

What trends will take upper hand in space exploration?

Kickstarter's creative community takes hold in Britain

Astronomers discover and 'weigh' infant solar system

Search for Life Suggests Solar Systems More Habitable than Ours

Do missing Jupiters mean massive comet belts?

Brown Dwarfs May Grow Rocky Planets

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement