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08.24.12 David Lumb

Our intrepid exploring rover gingerly began testing out its systems and cogs and wheels on Wednesday (Sol 16), driving up 15 feet and back 8. But any day now, it will begin its voyage to Mt. Sharp creeping toward Mt. Sharpe five miles away–its first destination is 1/5 of the way to Sharpe at 1,300 […]

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08.23.12 David Lumb

Yes, the video is running at 3x speed and is a cleaned-up version of this video with thumbnails spliced in where Curiosity left gaps, but that skycrane-empowered roller coaster ending is awesome. In other space news–Spacebook. Exactly as it says on the tin, Spacebook is a professional network (read: invite only) for folks in the […]

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08.22.12 David Lumb

The European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter recorded Curiosity’s radio chatter during its descent to Mars and tweaked it until it could be audible to the human ear. Which makes it the closest you’ll come to screaming through the atmosphere and skycraning down to the surface. (Hint: it’s kind of like a Terminator’s dying scream.) […]

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08.20.12 David Lumb

Surpassing its descent to Mars via a jet-powered robot dropship, Curiosity has just completed its coolest Science Fiction feat yesterday (Sol 13/Aug 19): firing its laser. Sure, it’s less “pew pew” and more “radiation radiation,” but the Chemistry Cam (ChemCam) zapped a wee boulder (appropriately-named Coronation) for Mankind’s first laser “investigation” of an interplanetary rock. […]

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08.15.12 David Lumb

Once scientists finish checking out Curiosity’s instruments after its software update (cutely coined its “brain transplant” for switching the rover from “plane” to “drive” mode in its 4 GB of memory), it could drive a few meters as early as Sol 13/Aug 19 (today is Sol 9), with a full-fledged test drive on Sol 15/Aug […]

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08.14.12 David Lumb

While we wait for Curiosity’s software update to finish switching the rover from “flight mode” to “car mode,” industrious humans have put together some sweet rotating panoramas to play around with. First up: photographer Andrew Bordov put this gem together from a plethora of Sol 2 (day 2, August 8th) photos and uploaded it to […]

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08.13.12 David Lumb

Curiosity cooled its heels on Friday after a busy week, enjoying a lazy weekend while NASA & JPL beamed a software update to the Mars rover that essentially switches it from “intense skycrane landing mode” to “drive around this barren frontier mode.” The update will also allow the rover to use its geochemistry lab’s sampling […]

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08.10.12 David Lumb

This is the first color panorama of Mars from Curiosity, and it is beautiful. (Of course, the rover-that-could Opportunity sent a prettier panorama a month ago…) For the curious (har): National Geographic aired a special last night (alas!) on the years of ups and downs at NASA to get Curiosity to Mars. Lucky for you, […]

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08.09.12 David Lumb

The Curiosity Rover fired up its left and right Navcams yesterday, giving us much sharper photos than yesterday’s slew of Mastcam/MAHLI/Navcam pics, cameras which may be blurry because their dust covers have not been removed yet (or they just haven’t been focused/calibrated yet), but look forward to a Mastcam 360-degree view soon. This should begin […]

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08.07.12 David Lumb

Today, IN SPACE… Curiosity snapped and sent its first color photo from the surface of Mars today (above), while the video is Curiosity’s descent from the ‘bot’s POV. I’d like to stress that this came from a planet that was, as of press time, was 155,099,687 miles away–about 50,000 length-wise USA’s. The one-ton rover beamed […]

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