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Curiosity Rover 3D View of Martian Surface: Sol 969 | NASA JPL
Curiosity mastcam R sol 969 anaglyph (stereo image)

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Processing: 2di7 & titanio44

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

#NASA #Mars #3D #Space #Astronomy #Science #Rover #Curiosity #Gale #Crater #MountSharp #AeolisMons #MSL #Orbiter #Sol969 #Stereo #Anaglyph #Engineering #Technology #STEM #RedPlanet
#Robotic #JPL 
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Close-up Mars Orbital View of Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater | NASA
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) periodically images the Curiosity rover and its surroundings on the Martian surface, monitoring for changes, such as from active dunes. This is the latest image, with an enhanced-color cutout centered on the rover. Oddly, the rover’s tracks are not visible nearby, maybe because the surfaces it has driven over lately don't make high-contrast lines, or maybe some blowing dust has recently erased the tracks.

With MRO's HiRISE camera's capability of high resolution (down to 25 cm/pixel) and ability to image the same area periodically, our team is keeping track of the Curiosity (MSL) and Opportunity (MER) rovers. For Curiosity, we recently acquired our first image in four months and the first in 2015. Here we see the rover parked over dark sand in a valley bounded by light-toned rock outcrops. These rocks make up the “Pahrump” member of the Murray Formation, a suite of sandstones, siltstones, and calcium sulfate veins that compose the lowermost exposed rocks of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) in Gale Crater.

This image also addresses several objectives besides keeping track of the rover location, such as the monitoring of nearby active sand dunes and the degree to which rover tracks are preserved on the underlying terrain. Unlike other regions of for which Curiosity has traversed, here the rover tracks are not apparent, likely because the disturbed, underlying, dark sand is similar in tone to that on the surface. (Courtesy of Nathan Bridges)

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Caption Credit: Alfred McEwen 
Release Date: April 22, 2015

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory  

#NASA #Mars #Space #Astronomy #Science #Rover #Curiousity
#Gale #Crater #MountSharp #AeolisMons #Pahrump #MSL #Orbiter #MRO #Reconnaissance #Spacecraft #Engineering #Technology
#STEM #RedPlanet #Robotic #JPL 
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NASA Messenger's Final Image of Planet Mercury
The MESSENGER spacecraft sent its final image on April 30, 2015. 
Originally planned to orbit Mercury for one year, the mission exceeded all expectations, lasting for over four years and acquiring extensive datasets with its seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation. On April 30th, the spacecraft succumbed to the pull of solar gravity and impacted Mercury's surface. The image shown here is the last one acquired and transmitted back to Earth by the mission. The image is located within the floor of the 93-kilometer-diameter crater Jokai. The spacecraft struck the planet just north of Shakespeare basin. 

As the first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury, MESSENGER revolutionized our understanding of the Solar System's innermost planet, as well as accomplished technological firsts that made the mission possible. 

Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 72716050
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 72.0°
Center Longitude: 223.8° E
Resolution: 2.1 meters/pixel
Scale: This image is about 1 kilometers (0.6 miles) across

Release Date: April 30, 2015
Date acquired: April 30, 2015

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

+NASA Goddard 
+Johns Hopkins University 

#NASA #Space #Mercury #Planet #Science #Messenger #Spacecraft #Orbiter #Robotic #SolarSystem #Exploration #STEM #Education
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NASA's MESSENGER Spacecraft at Mercury: Farewell Wishes
April 27, 2015: The robotic spacecraft MESSENGER has run out of fuel. With no way to make major adjustments to its orbit around the planet Mercury, the probe will smash into the surface at more than 8,750 miles per hour (3.91 kilometers per second). The impact will add a new crater to the planet’s scarred face that engineers estimate will be as wide as 52 feet (16 meters).

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

+NASA Goddard 
+Johns Hopkins University 

#NASA #Space #Mercury #Planet #Science #Messenger #Spacecraft #Orbiter #Robotic #SolarSystem #Exploration #STEM #Education 
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Thank you Messenger !!! Your scientific studies, findings and photos will improve our understanding regarding Mercury and other celestial worlds.  Job well done !!!
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NASA Space Technology Investments for Mars Benefit Life on Earth
April 28, 2015: NASA's technology investments enable the nation to achieve its space exploration and discovery goals, but the innovations also benefit the public here on earth. The commercialization of NASA technologies has directly contributed to products and services in the fields of health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, energy and environment, information technology and industrial productivity. As its engineers, scientists and technologists seek out this era's great destination—Mars—NASA and its commercial partners are already creating a new wave of empowering technologies that will change life on Earth for the better.

Credit: NASA

#NASA   #Space   #Mars   #Exploration   #Science #Technology #Engineering #Benefits #Humanity #Health #Medicine #Energy #Environment #Commercial #Industrial #JourneytoMars
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How Mars might hold the secret to the origin of life
Astrobiologist Nathalie Cabrol recently spoke about her work in remote field sites, including high-altitude lakes in the Andes, at the TED2015 conference. In her talk, Cabrol discusses how this work could help scientists search for signs of life on Mars.

Cabrol’s TED Talk, “Nathalie Cabrol: How Mars might hold the secret to the origin of life.”

Credit: TED
Date: March 2015

+NASA Astrobiology 
+Astrobiology Magazine 
+NASA Ames Research Center 
+SETI Institute 

#NASA #Space #Mars #Astrobiology #Science #Habitability #Life #Astronomy
While we like to imagine little green men, it’s far more likely that life on other planets will be microbial. Planetary scientist Nathalie Cabrol takes us inside the search for microbes on Mars, a hunt which counterintuitively leads us to the remote lakes of the Andes mountains. This extreme environment — with its thin atmosphere and scorched land — approximates the surface of Mars about 3.5 billion years ago. How microbes adapt to survive here m...
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Nope.
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Mars Orbital View [VIDEO] of Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater | NASA
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) periodically images the Curiosity rover and its surroundings on the Martian surface, monitoring for changes, such as from active dunes. This is the latest image, with an enhanced-color cutout centered on the rover. Oddly, the rover’s tracks are not visible nearby, maybe because the surfaces it has driven over lately don't make high-contrast lines, or maybe some blowing dust has recently erased the tracks.

With MRO's HiRISE camera's capability of high resolution (down to 25 cm/pixel) and ability to image the same area periodically, our team is keeping track of the Curiosity (MSL) and Opportunity (MER) rovers. For Curiosity, we recently acquired our first image in four months and the first in 2015. Here we see the rover parked over dark sand in a valley bounded by light-toned rock outcrops. These rocks make up the “Pahrump” member of the Murray Formation, a suite of sandstones, siltstones, and calcium sulfate veins that compose the lowermost exposed rocks of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) in Gale Crater.

This image also addresses several objectives besides keeping track of the rover location, such as the monitoring of nearby active sand dunes and the degree to which rover tracks are preserved on the underlying terrain. Unlike other regions of for which Curiosity has traversed, here the rover tracks are not apparent, likely because the disturbed, underlying, dark sand is similar in tone to that on the surface. (Courtesy of Nathan Bridges)

Video Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Narration Credit: Tre Gibbs
Caption Credit: Alfred McEwen 
Release Date: April 22, 2015

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

#NASA #Mars #Space #Astronomy #Science #Rover #Curiousity #Gale #Crater #MountSharp #AeolisMons #Pahrump #MSL #Orbiter #MRO #Reconnaissance #Spacecraft #Engineering #Technology #STEM #RedPlanet #Robotic #JPL #Video   #HD
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wall-e !!!
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Latest Mars Orbital View of Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater | NASA
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) periodically images the Curiosity rover and its surroundings on the Martian surface, monitoring for changes, such as from active dunes. This is the latest image, with an enhanced-color cutout centered on the rover. Oddly, the rover’s tracks are not visible nearby, maybe because the surfaces it has driven over lately don't make high-contrast lines, or maybe some blowing dust has recently erased the tracks.

With MRO's HiRISE camera's capability of high resolution (down to 25 cm/pixel) and ability to image the same area periodically, our team is keeping track of the Curiosity (MSL) and Opportunity (MER) rovers. For Curiosity, we recently acquired our first image in four months and the first in 2015. Here we see the rover parked over dark sand in a valley bounded by light-toned rock outcrops. These rocks make up the “Pahrump” member of the Murray Formation, a suite of sandstones, siltstones, and calcium sulfate veins that compose the lowermost exposed rocks of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) in Gale Crater.

This image also addresses several objectives besides keeping track of the rover location, such as the monitoring of nearby active sand dunes and the degree to which rover tracks are preserved on the underlying terrain. Unlike other regions of for which Curiosity has traversed, here the rover tracks are not apparent, likely because the disturbed, underlying, dark sand is similar in tone to that on the surface. (Courtesy of Nathan Bridges)

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Caption Credit: Alfred McEwen 
Release Date: April 22, 2015

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

#NASA #Mars #Space #Astronomy #Science #Rover #Curiousity
#Gale #Crater #MountSharp #AeolisMons #Pahrump #MSL #Orbiter #MRO #Reconnaissance #Spacecraft #Engineering #Technology #STEM #RedPlanet #Robotic #JPL
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Just drive to that black stuff already, WHAT IS THAT?
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Rock Spire in 'Spirit of St. Louis Crater' on Mars | NASA Opportunity
April 30, 2015: An elongated crater called 'Spirit of St. Louis,' with a rock spire in it, dominates a recent scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Opportunity completed its 4,000 Martian day, or sol, of work on Mars on April 26, 2015. The rover has been exploring Mars since early 2004.

This scene from late March 2015 shows a shallow crater called Spirit of St. Louis, about 110 feet (34 meters) long and about 80 feet (24 meters) wide, with a floor slightly darker than surrounding terrain. The rocky feature toward the far end of the crater is about 7 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) tall, rising higher than the crater's rim.

The component images of this mosaic view were taken on March 29 and 30, 2015, during Sol 3973 and Sol 3974 of the mission. This version of the image is presented in approximate true color by combining exposures taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet).

The unusually shaped Spirit of St. Louis Crater lies on the outer portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Endeavour spans about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter, and Opportunity has been exploring its western rim for about one-third of the rover's mission, which has lasted more than 11 years. Endeavour's elevated western rim extends northward to the left from Spirit of St. Louis Crater in this scene. A glimpse to the far side of Endeavour is visible on either side of the rock spire.

JPL manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. For more information about Opportunity's mission, visit http://mars.nasa.gov/mer.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
+Cornell University 
+Arizona State University 

#NASA #Space #Mars #Rover #Opportunity #Endeavour #Crater #Spirit #SaintLouis #MRO #CRISM #Panorama #Photography #Sol3973 #Sol3974 #JPL
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NASA MESSENGER Spacecraft's Impact Region Today on Mercury
Topography color coded image of section of Mercury's surface
On April 30th, this region of Mercury's surface will have a new crater! Traveling at 3.91 kilometers per second (over 8,700 miles per hour), the MESSENGER spacecraft will collide with Mercury's surface, creating a crater estimated to be 16 meters (52 feet) in diameter.

The large, 400-kilometer-diameter (250-mile-diameter), impact basin "Shakespeare" occupies the bottom left quarter of this image, acquired by the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) and Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instruments aboard the spacecraft. The image is coded by topography. The tallest regions are colored red and are roughly 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) higher than low-lying areas such as the floors of impact craters, colored blue. The large crater on the left side of the image is "Janacek," with a diameter of 48 kilometers (30 miles). The Shakespeare impact basin is filled with smooth plains material, likely due to extensive lava flooding in the past. As of 24 hours before the impact, the current best estimates predict that the spacecraft will strike a ridge slightly to the northeast of Shakespeare. 

The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. In the mission's more than four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER's highly successful orbital mission is about to come to an end, as the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surface of Mercury on April 30, 2015.

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

+NASA Goddard 
+Johns Hopkins University 

#NASA #Space #Mercury #Planet #Science #Messenger #Spacecraft #Orbiter #Robotic #SolarSystem #Exploration #STEM #Education
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looks a lot like the lunar surface
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NASA Messenger Executes Last Orbit Maneuver, Ready for Impact
MESSENGER mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., conducted the last of six planned maneuvers on April 24, 2015 to raise the spacecraft’s minimum altitude sufficiently to extend orbital operations and further delay the probe’s inevitable impact onto Mercury's surface.
 
With the usable on-board fuel consumed, this maneuver expelled gaseous helium — originally carried to pressurize the fuel, but repurposed as a propellant. Without a means of boosting the spacecraft’s altitude, the tug of the Sun's gravity will draw the craft in to impact the planet on April 30, at about 8,750 miles per hour (3.91 kilometers per second), creating a crater as wide as 52 feet (16 meters).
 
The previous maneuver, completed on April 14, raised MESSENGER’s minimum altitude above Mercury from 6.5 kilometers (4.0 miles) to 13.3 kilometers (8.3 miles). But because of progressive changes in the orbit over time, the spacecraft’s minimum altitude continued to decrease.
 
At the start of yesterday’s maneuver, at 1:23 p.m. EDT, MESSENGER was in an orbit with a closest approach of 8.3 kilometers (5.1 miles) above the surface of Mercury. With a velocity change of 1.53 meters per second (3.43 miles per hour), the spacecraft’s four largest monopropellant thrusters released gaseous helium to nudge the spacecraft to an orbit with a closest approach altitude of 18.2 kilometers (11.3miles). 
 
Mission controllers at APL verified the start of the maneuver 9.4 minutes later, when the first signals indicating spacecraft thruster activity reached NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking station in Goldstone, California. This was the third MESSENGER maneuver designed to adjust the course of the spacecraft using just helium gas.
 
Since MESSENGER’s launch in 2004, mission engineers have been working in lockstep with KinetX Aerospace to conduct such maneuvers. KinetX, based in Simi Valley, California, is the first commercial company to navigate any spacecraft to distant planetary bodies. The team processes radiometric tracking measurements from NASA’s DSN antennas to perform orbit determination for MESSENGER. 
 
The KinetX team was key to successfully navigating the spacecraft to arrive at the planet, and then for maintaining precise knowledge of the spacecraft's position while in orbit, including these last two months during MESSENGER’s ”hover campaign.”
 
“Navigating a spacecraft so close to a planet’s surface had never been attempted before, but it was a risk worth taking given mission success had already been met, and the novel science observation opportunities available only at such very low altitudes,” said Bobby Williams, who leads the KinetX Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics group. “The MESSENGER mission presented new technical challenges for mission design and navigation that were successfully met through close cooperation and innovation of the APL and KinetX flight operations teams." 
 
MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, Director of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, commented on yesterday’s maneuver on behalf of the project’s Science Team as the end of the mission draws near.
 
“Operating a spacecraft in orbit about Mercury, where the probe is exposed to punishing heat from the Sun and the planet’s dayside surface as well as the harsh radiation environment of the inner heliosphere, would be challenge enough,” he said. “But MESSENGER’s mission design, navigation, engineering, and spacecraft operations teams have done much more. They’ve fought off the relentless action of solar gravity, made the most of every usable gram of propellant, and devised novel ways to modify the spacecraft trajectory never before accomplished in deep space. They’ve extended the duration of MESSENGER’s orbital observations by more than a factor of four over the original plan, and an amazing set of scientific discoveries has been enabled by their creative efforts. This latest maneuver is icing on a multi-tiered cake of spectacular accomplishment. The MESSENGER mission will soon end, but its legacy of scientific knowledge and technical innovation will endure for as long as we study the planets and explore the Solar System.”

For more information about the mission, visit:
www.nasa.gov/messenger

Credit: NASA

#NASA #Space #Mercury #Planet #Science #Messenger #Spacecraft #Orbiter #Robotic #SolarSystem #Exploration #STEM #Education
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You will be missed, Messenger.
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Happy Earth Day 2015!
MSG-3 (Meteosat-10) captured this image of Earth on April 22, 2015 with its Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI).

Credit: Eumetsat
Released 22/04/2015

+EUMETSAT 
+European Space Agency, ESA 

#ESA #Space #Satellite #Earth #EarthDay   #EarthDay2015
#Science #Meteosat #Africa
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Introduction
Mars Initiative is an international organization that wants humanity to explore Mars and The Final Frontier.
We support the creation of the first human settlements on Mars for our long-term survival as a species! Mars Initiative is a global, collaborative action movement, dedicated to raising the funding needed to support the first human mission to Mars.

Education & cooperation are key to achieving our goals!

Mars Initiative is a registered non-profit—a U.S.-based charity staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers who passionately believe in our cause.

YOU are welcome to join our global network!
Contribute your creative ideas, talents and energy!
Come learn what science knows now about Mars. 
Ask questions! Share its mysteries! Seek adventure!

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