NASA gives us the capabilities to get deep into the terrain of the Curiosity rover mission.
With its ‘Explore Mars with Curiosity’ tool (as you can imagine, I like that name ‘Explore Mars’) you can look at the position of Curiosity from all angles using a 3D interactive that features Curiosity and a 3D terrain map of Gale Crater.
This oblique view of Gale, and Mount Sharp in the center, is derived from a combination of elevation and imaging data from three Mars orbiters. The image combines elevation data from the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter, image data from the Context Camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and color information from Viking Orbiter imagery. There is no vertical exaggeration in the image. The view is looking toward the southeast. Mount Sharp rises about 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) above the floor of Gale Crater.
For 11 days already Curiosity is parked on the green dot in her landing ellips, while engineers purge her EDL software from her two computers and scientists test her instruments. The Curiosity team has been checking out all her instruments; all checked out okay. Once the software purge is complete and the exploration software has been uploaded Curiosity will start her trek through Gale Crater and up Mount Sharp. After instrument check up the team has to decide whether she will stay put and snap more images (e.g. of the top of Mount Sharp) or whether she will start driving. In either case many lines of code need to be written to send Curiosity our commands.
Meanwhile we wait. To make waiting more enjoyable I have uploaded a videoclip showing a alternative method of looking for life.
‘If there is life on Mars, the Dutch will find it’
This videoclip below was created to inspire by Michael Marantz
michaelmarantz.com – twitter.com/michaelmarantz, it was produced by Already Alive alreadyalive.com
Imagine the future as a movie, consider this a trailer to that movie. As Michael says: “The future excites me so much, that is why I made this. We need to be inspired by the immense possibilities of the future and work extremely hard to achieve them. We can do it, we just have to commit.” The drive to act and create, and not to wait passively is what made us built Curiosity and send her to Mars. That same drive is needed to take care of our present planet.
Be inspired by Carl Sagan, Neill de Grass Tyson, Stephen Hawking and many others in the future is ours