After NASA‘s Mars corsair Curiosity touches down on a Red Planet tonight (Aug. 5 PDT; early Aug. 6 EDT), goal controllers will start contrast a rover’s systems to make certain a onboard instruments survived a heated tour by a Martian atmosphere. During this time, a corsair will lamp behind rough images from Mars, NASA says.
So, what can we design to see in these initial photos?
According to NASA officials, a initial photos from a Curiosity rover will come from a one-megapixel Hazard-Avoidance cameras, or Hazcams, that are trustworthy to a body.
“A set of low-resolution gray scale Hazcam images will be acquired within mins of alighting on a surface,” Justin Maki, who led a growth of Curiosity’s 12 engineering cameras during NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., pronounced in a statement. “Once all of a vicious systems have been checked out by a engineering group and a pillar is deployed, a corsair will picture a alighting site with higher-resolution cameras.”
Curiosity is set to land on Mars on Sunday night at 10:31 p.m. PDT (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6; 0531 GMT). The 1-ton, car-size corsair is designed to examine either Mars has, or ever had, an sourroundings suitable for microbial life.
Curiosity is carrying 12 engineering cameras, that embody 8 Hazcams during a front and behind of a rover, and 4 Navigation cameras (Navcams) during a tip of a rover’s supposed “look out” mast. These cameras snap black-and-white cinema from a rover’s left and right stereo “eyes,” that are afterwards joined for three-dimensional observations. [Mars Rover Armed With Laser, Cameras Curiosity (Infographic)]
Engineers on Earth will spend several days behaving tests to establish if it is protected to muster Curiosity’s Remote Sensing Mast and a high-tech cameras, though a rover’s initial images might arrive only hours after a landing, group officials said.
NASA is regulating a Mars Odyssey orbiter to relay signals from a Curiosity rover to Earth, so with a time delay, it might take some-more than dual hours after a alighting before a initial photos are perceived by goal controllers.
These early images will be prisoner with a left and right Hazcams during a behind and front of a rover. The initial dual photos will be tiny thumbnail copies, measuring 64 by 64 pixels in size, rather than full-resolution versions, NASA officials explained.
Curiosity’s initial photos will assistance engineers fill in sum of a rover’s surroundings, including a plcae and tilt.
“Ensuring that a corsair is on fast belligerent is critical before lifting a rover’s mast,” goal manager Jennifer Trosper pronounced in a statement. “We are regulating an wholly new alighting complement on this missions, so we are move with caution.”
Curiosity’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) will constraint color photos as a corsair descends to a surface of Mars. These photos will assistance pinpoint a rover’s location, and a initial MARDI images are approaching to be expelled on Aug. 6, a day after landing.
The MARDI images will also be thumbnails, though one full-resolution picture might also be sent behind during a same time, NASA officials said.
Other tone photos of a aspect of Mars are approaching to arrive by a morning of Aug. 7, from a Mars Hand Lens Imager, one of 5 instruments on a rover’s robotic arm. This camera is designed to take close-up cinema of rocks and soil, though when Curiosity lands, it will still be packaged adult and forked to a side, that will concede it to snap an early tone perspective of a rover’s Gale Crater alighting site.
Once engineers extend Curiosity’s mast, a Navcams will start holding one-megapixel stereo cinema of a rover’s surroundings, 360 degrees around. These cameras are able of solution a homogeneous of a golf round 82 feet (25 meters) away, NASA officials said.
Navcams are designed to indicate a Martian landscape and collect three-dimensional information, though can also be used to demeanour adult and down. Navcam photos will assistance scientists and engineers confirm where and how to expostulate a rover, and that rocks to investigate closer with a rover’s apartment of 10 instruments.
“A vast partial of a aspect goal is conducted regulating a images returned from a cameras,” Maki said.
Photos from Curiosity’s Navcams are approaching to be sent behind to Earth roughly 3 days after landing, supposing a rover’s pillar is deployed on schedule, group officials explained.
Approximately 3 days after landing, Curiosity’s Mast Cameras (Mastcams) will approaching start holding their initial photos. The two-megapixel Mastcams have narrower fields of view, and will be used to take minute shots of Mars. High-resolution breathtaking photos from a Mastcams are approaching to arrive some-more than a week after landing, NASA officials said.
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