Sonntag, 2. September 2012 - 14:58 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Blick in den Shuttle-Trainer im Museum von Seatttle


Some people in the Seattle region might have been disappointed last year when we didn’t land a real Space Shuttle. But after getting a behind-the-scenes look at the Space Shuttle trainer being assembled at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, I walked away feeling like we got lucky.

This thing is awesome.

Over the 30-year life of NASA’s Space Shuttle program, every astronaut spent hours upon hours practicing in the Full Fuselage Trainer, preparing for their missions. The interior of the trainer mirrors an actual Space Shuttle orbiter in almost every way imaginable — from the placement of the controls to the shape of the toilet.

Stepping inside is a chance to walk in the footsteps of astronauts, and to see what they went through on their long journey into orbit.

The trainer, delivered in pieces over the past few months, is now being assembled inside the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery at the Seattle museum. Our tour was led by Geoff Nunn, the exhibit developer.

Childhood dreams were realized as there in front of me, dominating the room, stood a giant wooden Space Shuttle replica. The trainer is in pieces now but will be fully assembled by the end of September. The payload half is being outfitted with a new walkway where visitors will be able to walk though the trainer. The nose of the shuttle, housing the cockpit and living quarters, will be attached in its original place.

We enjoyed the rare treat of actually getting to step inside the crew cabin and flight deck. The cabin is so tiny, it’s wild to think of seven people actually living in there (eating, sleeping, using the restroom, but no shower). The trainer is precise when it comes to layout and control placement, and some of the buttons are wired to work.

Even the toilet is completely replicated, although Nunn told us that it’s non-working. Apparently, going to the bathroom in space takes such finesse that it requires its very own mockup for “training.”

Everything has its place in the cabin. It’s lined with lockers carrying everything from delicate experimental equipment to athletic exercise bands. The cabin and flight deck are covered with patches of velcro where tools and other necessities attach. NASA used special NASA blue velcro strips to denote regular issue items and yellow velcro for special astronaut-requested items.

Climbing up a tiny ladder, you reach the flight deck, which is even smaller than the main cabin and covered in switches, dials, and gauges. I was momentarily tempted to act out every sci-fi film I’ve ever seen in a crazy montage. The coolest things on the flight deck are the controls for the robotic arm, the closed-circuit television screens of the payload area, and the bags that hold the ropes if one ever has to rappel down the side of the shuttle, using a system called “sky genie.”

What the astronauts saw: Looking through the windows of the Full Fuselage Trainer at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.






Samstag, 1. September 2012 - 14:46 Uhr

Astronomie - Kepler findet Doppel-Sonnensystem


Orbiting in the Habitable Zone of Two Suns

This diagram compares our own solar system to Kepler-47, a double-star system containing two planets, one orbiting in the so-called "habitable zone." This is the sweet spot in a planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet.

Unlike our own solar system, Kepler-47 is home to two stars. One star is similar to the sun in size, but only 84 percent as bright. The second star is diminutive, measuring only one-third the size of the sun and less than one percent as bright. As the stars are smaller than our sun, the systems habitable zone is closer in.

The habitable zone of the system is ring-shaped, centered on the larger star. As the primary star orbits the center of mass of the two stars every 7.5 days, the ring of the habitable zone moves around.

This artist's rendering shows the planet comfortably orbiting within the habitable zone, similar to where Earth circles the sun. One year, or orbit, on Kepler-47c is 303 days. While not a world hospitable for life, Kepler-47c is thought to be a gaseous giant, slightly larger than Neptune, where an atmosphere of thick bright water-vapor clouds might exist.

The discovery demonstrates the diversity of planetary systems in our galaxy and provides more opportunities to search for life as we know it.




Samstag, 1. September 2012 - 13:45 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity OnTour-Sol 25


Curiosity Daily Status Report for Aug. 31, 2012

Curiosity took a sol off from driving and spent time during the mission's Sol 25, on Aug. 31, 2012, taking images and collecting environmental monitoring data.

Imaging tasks for the sol included Navigation Camera sky observations to check for clouds, and Mast Camera imaging of the terrain eastward where the rover will be driving during the next few sols. In addition, the Mast Camera was used for taking a 360-degree panorama from the location that Curiosity reached by its Sol 24 drive.

Sol 25, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ends at 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31, PDT.


Orbiter View of Curiosity From Nearly Straight Overhead

Details such as the shadow of the mast on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity appear in an image taken Aug. 17, 2012, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, from more directly overhead than previous HiRISE images of Curiosity. In this product, cutouts showing the rover and other hardware or ground markings from the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft are presented across the top of a larger, quarter-resolution overview keyed to the full-resolution cutouts. North is up. The scale bar is 200 meters (one-eighth of a mile).

Curiosity landed Aug. 5, PDT (Aug. 6, EDT). HiRISE imaged the spacecraft during its descent PIA15993, on the first day after landing PIA16001 and on the sixth day after landing PIA16057 . This image was acquired looking more directly down (9 degree roll angle) than the prior images so the pixel scale is improved to approximately 11 inches (27 centimeters) per pixel. Each cutout is individually stretched to best show the information without saturation. A special noise cleaning method was applied to the images by Paul Geissler of U.S. Geological Survey.

The shadow of Curiosity's mast extends southeast from the rover, opposite the solar illumination direction.

Dark spots on the left-side cutouts created streaks radial to the descent-stage impact site. They may be from far-flung rocks or objects associated with the impact. Seven bright spots associated with the descent stage crash site, as well, may be pieces of hardware.

There are also bright pieces scattered around the backshell, mostly downrange, and interesting detail in the parachute.

The rover is approximately 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) away from the heat shield, about 2,020 feet (615 meters) away from the parachute and back shell, and approximately 2,100 feet (650 meters) away from the discoloration consistent with the impact of the sky crane.



Freitag, 31. August 2012 - 12:39 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity´s Laser-Einsatz



Marks of Laser Exam on Martian Soil

The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its laser to examine side-by-side points in a target patch of soil, leaving the marks apparent in this before-and-after comparison. 

The two images were taken by ChemCam's Remote Micro-Imager from a distance of about 11.5 feet (3.5 meters). The diameter of the circular field of view is about 3.1 inches (7.9 centimeters). 

Researchers used ChemCam to study this soil target, named "Beechey," during the 19th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's mission (Aug. 25, 2012). The observation mode, called a five-by-one raster, is a way to investigate chemical variability at short scale on rock or soil targets. For the Beechey study, each point received 50 shots of the instrument's laser. The points on the target were studied in sequence left to right. Each shot delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second. The energy from the laser excites atoms in the target into a glowing state, and the instrument records the spectra of the resulting glow to identify what chemical elements are present in the target. 

The holes seen here have widths of about 0.08 inch to 0.16 inch (2 to 4 millimeters), much larger than the size of the laser spot (0.017 inch or 0.43 millimeter at this distance). This demonstrates the power of the laser to evacuate dust and small unconsolidated grains. A preliminary analysis of the spectra recorded during this raster study show that the first laser shots look alike for each of the five points, but then variability is seen from shot to shot in a given point and from point to point. 

ChemCam was developed, built and tested by the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in partnership with scientists and engineers funded by France's national space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and research agency, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project, including Curiosity, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the rover. 






Freitag, 31. August 2012 - 12:29 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Jupiter-Juno-Sonde mit den drei Dänen auf Kurs!


PASADENA, Calif. - Earlier today, navigators and mission controllers for NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter watched their computer screens as their spacecraft successfully performed its first deep-space maneuver. This first firing of Juno's main engine is one of two planned to refine the spacecraft's trajectory, setting the stage for a gravity assist from a flyby of Earth on Oct 9, 2013. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. 

The deep-space maneuver began at 6:57 p.m. EDT (3:57 p.m. PDT) today, when the Leros-1b main engine was fired for 29 minutes 39 seconds. Based on telemetry, the Juno project team believes the burn was accurate, changing the spacecraft's velocity by about 770 mph (344 meters a second) while consuming about 829 pounds (376 kilograms) of fuel. 

"This first and successful main engine burn is the payoff for a lot of hard work and planning by the operations team," said Juno Project Manager Rick Nybakken of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "We started detailed preparations for this maneuver earlier this year, and over the last five months we've been characterizing and configuring the spacecraft, primarily in the propulsion and thermal systems. Over the last two weeks, we have carried out planned events almost every day, including heating tanks, configuring subsystems, uplinking new sequences, turning off the instruments and increasing the spacecraft's spin rate. There is a lot that goes into a main engine burn." 

The burn occurred when Juno was more than 300 million miles (483 million kilometers) away from Earth. 

A second deep space maneuver, of comparable duration and velocity change, is planned for Sept. 4. Together, they will place Juno on course for its Earth flyby, which will occur as the spacecraft is completing one elliptical orbit around the sun. The Earth flyby will boost Juno's velocity by 16,330 mph (about 7.3 kilometers per second), placing the spacecraft on its final flight path for Jupiter. The closest approach to Earth, on Oct. 9, 2013, will occur when Juno is at an altitude of about 310 miles (500 kilometers). 

"We still have the Earth flyby and another 1.4 billion miles and four years to go to get to Jupiter," said Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "The team will be busy during that whole time, collecting science on the way out to Jupiter and getting ready for our prime mission at Jupiter, which is focused on learning the history of how our solar system was formed. We need to go to Jupiter to learn our history because Jupiter is the largest of the planets, and it formed by grabbing most of the material left over from the sun's formation. Earth and the other planets are really made from the leftovers of the leftovers, so if we want to learn about the history of the elements that made Earth and life, we need to first understand what happened when Jupiter formed." 

Juno was launched on Aug. 5, 2011. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will circle Jupiter 33 times, from pole-to-pole, and use its collection of eight science instruments to probe beneath the gas giant's obscuring cloud cover. Juno's science team will learn about Jupiter's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere, and look for a potential solid planetary core. 

Juno's name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter's true nature. 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Quelle: NASA

Blick auf die "dänischen Passagiere" der Juno-Sonde:


Donnerstag, 30. August 2012 - 21:55 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ISS-EVA von Sunita Williams und Akihiko Hoshide

Frams: NASA-TV-LIVE - 30.08.2012 / 21.30 MESZ
Update: 30.08.2012 / 23.15 MESZ - EVA-Rückkehr in ISS


Donnerstag, 30. August 2012 - 20:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Lift-Off von NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP)


Workers help guide the United Launch Alliance with the Radiation Belt Storm Probes spacecraft aboard as it moves to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Aug. 22, 2012


Frams: LIVE von  NASA-TV


Update: 25.08.2012 / 10.30 MESZ - Start wiederum um 24 Stunden verschoben

Launch Scrubbed by Weather Violations

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 10:26:43 AM GMT+0200

Because of weather rule violations, managers have halted today's attempted launch of the Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes. The launch team is resetting for a 24-hour recycle. Liftoff on Sunday would occur at 4:07 a.m. EDT at the start of a 20-minute launch window.
There is a 40 percent chance of acceptable weather for Sunday.


Update; 25.08.2012 / 17.00 MESZ

Weather delays Atlas launch to next weekPoor weather prevented Saturday's planned launch of a pair of NASA space science satellites, and the threat of a tropical storm will keep the rocket grounded until late next week. NASA had hoped to launch the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) at 4:07 am EDT (0807 GMT) Saturday, one day after a technical problem scrubbed the first launch attempt. However, stormy weather prevented the launch from taking place during a 20-minute window. NASA announced later Saturday morning that the launch would be postponed to no earlier than Thursday, August 30, because of concerns about Tropical Storm Issac, which is approaching southern Florida and likely to preclude launch attempts for several days. The Atlas 5 rocket will be rolled back to its assembly building until the storm passes. The two RBSP spacecraft will study the Van Allen radiation belts that surround the Eart


Update: 30.08.2012

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is headed toward a planned 4:05 a.m. launch Thursday morning of two NASA science probes.The chance of weather cooperating during the 20-minute launch window: 70 percent.

NASA will begin launch coverage at 1:30 a.m. Go to to watch the coverage, and tune in for our live countdown blog starting at 3 a.m.

The $686 million Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission plans to study Earth's radiation belt for two years.

Thursday's will be the third launch attempt; the first last Thursday scrubbed due to a problem with the Eastern Range and the second because of poor weather. NASA then decided to wait until Tropical Storm Isaac, now officially a hurricane, passed before proceeding.



Update: 30.08.2012 / 20.30 MESZ

NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes are on their way into orbit following their successful liftoff aboard the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The vehicle lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41 at 4:05 a.m. EDT following a remarkably smooth overnight countdown that saw good weather and no technical problems.


NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes are flying in Earth orbit after a successful liftoff and ascent this morning. The probes launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 4:05 a.m. EDT after a smooth countdown at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The probes were released from the rocket's Centaur upper stage one at a time and sent off into different orbits, kicking off the two-year mission to study Earth's radiation belts.

"I'm very happy to report that we have two happy spacecraft on orbit," said Rick Fitzgerald, RBSP project manager from the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which is managing the mission for NASA. "Many thanks to ULA and Launch Services Program for getting us on orbit, giving us a great ride and injecting us in exactly the orbit that we wanted to be in."

During the RBSP mission, the identical twin spacecraft will fly in separate orbits throughout the inner and outer Van Allen radiation belts that encircle the Earth. The sun influences the behavior of the radiation belts, which in turn can impact life on Earth and endanger astronauts and spacecraft in orbit.

"Today, 11 years of hard work was realized by the science team as a number of us stood together watching the rocket lift off the pad," said Nicky Fox, RBSP deputy project scientist from APL. "(The spacecraft) are now at home in the Van Allen belts where they belong, and we can all finally breathe out now that solar panels are out on both of them."

The spacecraft will go through a 60-day commissioning period before beginning its prime mission.

"Now that the spacecraft are safely in orbit, the real fun begins," said Mike Luther, deputy associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "After the commissioning period, we get to then begin to perform the most detailed study of Earth's radiation belts that's ever been undertaken."


Frams: NASA-TV-Video von Nachtstart







Quelle: NASA


Donnerstag, 30. August 2012 - 15:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Im Focus von Cassini







PASADENA, Calif. -- Posing for portraits for NASA's Cassini spacecraft, Saturn and its largest moon, Titan, show spectacular colors in a quartet of images being released today. One image captures the changing hues of Saturn's northern and southern hemispheres as they pass from one season to the next.

A wide-angle view in today's package captures Titan passing in front of Saturn, as well as the planet's changing colors. Upon Cassini's arrival at Saturn eight years ago, Saturn's northern winter hemisphere was an azure blue. Now that winter is encroaching on the planet's southern hemisphere and summer on the north, the color scheme is reversing: blue is tinting the southern atmosphere and is fading from the north.

The other three images depict the newly discovered south polar vortex in the atmosphere of Titan, reported recently by Cassini scientists. Cassini's visible-light cameras have seen a concentration of yellowish haze in the detached haze layer at the south pole of Titan since at least March 27. Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer spotted the massing of clouds around the south pole as early as May 22 in infrared wavelengths. After a June 27 flyby of the moon, Cassini released a dramatic image and movie showing the vortex rotating faster than the moon's rotation period. The four images being released today were acquired in May, June and July of 2012.

Some of these views, such as those of the polar vortex, are only possible because Cassini's newly inclined -- or tilted -- orbits allow more direct viewing of the polar regions of Saturn and its moons.

Scientists are looking forward to seeing more of the same -- new phenomena like Titan's south polar vortex and changes wrought by the passage of time and seasons -- during the remainder of Cassini's mission.

"Cassini has been in orbit now for the last eight years, and despite the fact that we can't know exactly what the next five years will show us, we can be certain that whatever it is will be wondrous," said Carolyn Porco, imaging team lead based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Launched in 1997, Cassini went into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004. It is in its second mission extension, known as the Solstice Mission, and one of its main goals is to analyze seasonal changes in the Saturn system.

"It is so fantastic to experience, through the instruments of Cassini, seasonal changes in the Saturn system," said Amanda Hendrix, deputy project scientist, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Some of the changes we see in the data are completely unexpected, while some occur like clockwork on a seasonal timescale. It's an exciting time to be at Saturn."

Quelle+Fotos: NASA


Donnerstag, 30. August 2012 - 09:30 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity on Tour


Big Wheels Keep on Rollin'

This image taken by a front Hazard-Avoidance camera on NASA's Curiosity shows track marks from the rover's first Martian drives. The rover's Bradbury Landing site and its first tire marks are seen at center, in the distance, while tracks from the second drive are in the foreground. Mount Sharp is on the horizon, which is curved to due to the camera's fisheye lens. 

In Curiosity's second drive, it rotated about 90 degrees, rolled about 16 feet (5 meters), then rotated back about 120 degrees to face roughly the same direction from which it started. The drive placed it over a scour mark called Goulburn, an area of bedrock exposed by thrusters on the rover's sky crane. Scientists will continue their investigations there. 


Evidence of Curiosity's Second Drive

This image taken by NASA's Curiosity rover shows track marks from a successful drive to the scour mark known as Goulburn, an area of bedrock exposed by thrusters on the rover's descent stage. The scour mark cannot be seen in this view. 

This is a full-resolution image from the rover's Navigation camera. In Curiosity's second drive, it rotated about 90 degrees, drove about 16 feet (5 meters), then rotated back about 120 degrees to face roughly the same direction from which it started. 


From Infinity and Beyond

The two donut-shaped tracks make an infinity symbol, and mark the first two drives of NASA's Curiosity rover. The landing site is at the far right. Tracks from the first drive on Aug. 22, 2012 lead away from the landing site and include the donut at right. The second donut was made during the rover's second drive on Aug. 27. 

The full-resolution images making up this mosaic were taken by the rover's Navigation camera. 


'Reach for the Stars' Goes Interplanetary

With students and NASA space shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin looking on, musical artist posts a tweet soon after his song "Reach for the Stars" was beamed back from the Curiosity Mars rover and broadcast to a live audience at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. 


Curiosity Tracks Its Tracks

This image shows a close-up of track marks left by NASA's Curiosity rover. Holes in the rover's wheels, seen here in this view, leave imprints in the tracks that can be used to help the rover drive more accurately. The imprint is in fact Morse code for JPL, which is short for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where the rover was built and the mission is managed. 

Curiosity's "visual odometry" software measures terrain features -- such as rocks, rock shadows and patterns in the rover tracks -- to determine the precise distance between drive steps. Knowing how far it has traveled is important for measuring any wheel slippage that may have occurred, for instance due to high slopes or sandy ground. Fine-grained terrains generally lack interesting features, so Curiosity can make its own features using its wheel tracks. 

The Morse code, imprinted on all six wheels, is: .--- (J), .--. (P), and .-.. (L). 


Reading the Rover's Tracks

The straight lines in Curiosity's zigzag track marks are Morse code for JPL, which is short for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where the rover was built and the mission is managed. The "footprint" is more than an homage to the rover's builders, however. It is an important reference mark that the rover can use to drive more precisely via a system called visual odometry. 

The Morse code, imprinted on all six wheels, is: .--- (J), .--. (P), and .-.. (L), as indicated in this image. 


Curiosity Leaves Its Mark

This image shows a close-up of track marks from the first test drive of NASA's Curiosity rover. The rover's arm is visible in the foreground. A close inspection of the tracks reveals a unique, repeating pattern: Morse code for JPL. This pattern, visible as straight bands across the zigzag track marks, can be used as a visual reference to help the rover drive accurately. 

Curiosity's "visual odometry" software measures terrain features -- such as rocks, rock shadows and patterns in the rover tracks -- to determine the precise distance between drive steps. Knowing how far it has traveled is important for measuring any wheel slippage that may have occurred, for instance due to high slopes or sandy ground. Fine-grained terrains generally lack interesting features, so Curiosity can make its own features using its wheel tracks. 

The Morse code, imprinted on all six wheels, is: .--- (J), .--. (P), and .-.. (L). JPL is short for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where the rover was built and the mission is managed. 


Martian Soil on Curiosity's Wheels After Sol 22 Drive

Soil clinging to the right middle and rear wheels of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity can be seen in this image taken by the Curiosity's Navigation Camera after the rover's third drive on Mars. The drive of about 52 feet (16 meters) during the 22nd Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Aug. 28, 2012), covered more ground than the two previous drives combined. 


Tracks from Eastbound Drive on Curiosity's Sol 22

On Aug. 28, 2012, during the 22nd Martian day, or sol, after landing on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover drove about 52 feet (16 meters) eastward, the longest drive of the mission so far. The drive imprinted the wheel tracks visible in this image. The rover's rear Hazard Avoidance Camera (Hazcam) took the image after the drive. Curiosity's front and rear Hazcams have fisheye lenses for enabling the rover to see a wide swath of terrain. This image has been processed to straighten the horizon. 


PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has set off from its landing vicinity on a trek to a science destination about a quarter mile (400 meters) away, where it may begin using its drill.

The rover drove eastward about 52 feet (16 meters) on Tuesday, its 22nd Martian day after landing. This third drive was longer than Curiosity's first two drives combined. The previous drives tested the mobility system and positioned the rover to examine an area scoured by exhaust from one of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft engines that placed the rover on the ground.

"This drive really begins our journey toward the first major driving destination, Glenelg, and it's nice to see some Martian soil on our wheels," said mission manager Arthur Amador of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The drive went beautifully, just as our rover planners designed it."

Glenelg is a location where three types of terrain intersect. Curiosity's science team chose it as a likely place to find a first rock target for drilling and analysis.

"We are on our way, though Glenelg is still many weeks away," said Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "We plan to stop for just a day at the location we just reached, but in the next week or so we will make a longer stop."

During the longer stop at a site still to be determined, Curiosity will test its robotic arm and the contact instruments at the end of the arm. At the location reached Tuesday, Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) will collect a set of images toward the mission's ultimate driving destination, the lower slope of nearby Mount Sharp. A mosaic of images from the current location will be used along with the Mastcam images of the mountain taken at the spot where Curiosity touched down, Bradbury Landing. This stereo pair taken about 33 feet (10 meters) apart will provide three-dimensional information about distant features and possible driving routes.

Curiosity is three weeks into a two-year prime mission on Mars. It will use 10 science instruments to assess whether the selected study area ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.











Mittwoch, 29. August 2012 - 15:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Der Astronaut Neil Armstrong - Teil-7


Foto-Dokumentation; Fotos: NASA


Neil Armstrong Flug zum Mond:




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