Via Youtube: Mars Curiosity Rover Report February 21st, 2013

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If you have an hour, the drilling team gives a presentation and a Q and A. They explain the significance of the first non-Earth drilling.

They’ve driven the Rover over to a flat area of rocks they call ‘John Klein,’ in a depressed region called ‘Yellowknife Bay,’ beyond Glenelg which was originally a target point from the landing site.  There’s a group of likely fine-grained (siltstone or mudstone?) rocks on the Martian ground.  They’ve photographed white veins in the rocks amongst other features, and used the ChemCam to determine the veins are probably a calcium sulfate, which forms on Earth usually due to water percolating through rocks, but they’re still doing analysis.

They’re now using the drill for the first time, doing a test drill of 2 centimeters, and then drilled 6 centimeters down into these flat ‘river’-looking rocks in John Klein.  The Rover scooped up the material and it’s gray in color,  as at the surface has been exposed to iron oxidation.

You can download these photos or view them a slideshow, and the Rover team keeps updating them with each new tool they use and each new location they move the Rover.  You can track the whole mission that way in photos with captions explaining what’s going on.

Here’s animation of how the drill works (follow that link for all video updates).

Could Mars have once harbored life?

Related On This Site:  Via The Mars Science Laboratory At NASA: ”Mount Sharp’ On Mars Links Geology’s Past And Future’Via Youtube: ‘The Challenges Of Getting To Mars: Selecting A Landing Site

NASA Via Youtube: December 21st, 2012 Mars Curiosity Rover Report

NASA Via Youtube: ‘The Martians: Launching Curiosity To Mars’NASA Via Youtube: ‘Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover) Mission Animation

Via Youtube: “Mars Curiosity Rover Update For September 28th, 2012”

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Brief update on the potential evidence for liquid water.

Here’s a video from JPL comparing similar features here on Earth:

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New photo of the Rover’s first scoop of Martian soil.

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Felix Baumgartner’s jump from 23 miles up, livestream here.

Addition: Baumgartner made it!  Highest manned balloon flight.  Highest free fall to Earth from about 127,600 feet or so, or just over 24 miles (perhaps not the longest in duration as he was at 4 min 22 sec and Kittinger was 4 min 36 sec).  He may have been the first to achieve the speed of sound without being in a craft.

Another Addition:  That’s 128,100 feet, 4 min 20 sec freefall, and he did break the sound barrier.  He did not have the longest free fall:  This record still belongs to Kittinger.

Related On This Site:  Via The Mars Science Laboratory At NASA: ”Mount Sharp’ On Mars Links Geology’s Past And Future’Via Youtube: ‘The Challenges Of Getting To Mars: Selecting A Landing Site

NASA Via Youtube: ‘The Martians: Launching Curiosity To Mars’NASA Via Youtube: ‘Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover) Mission AnimationRepost: Richard Feynman at NASA

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Via Youtube: September 13th Mars Curiosity Rover Report

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They’re still heading to Mt. Sharp,  driving the rover 400 meters toward Glenelg:

‘Sol 38 (Sept. 13, 2012) was destined to be a driving day for NASA’s latest edition to the Martian landscape. Curiosity perambulated over 105 feet (32 meters) of unpaved Gale Crater during yesterday’s drive. The rover’s odometer now clocks in at 466 feet (142 meters) covered since the landing on Aug. 5.’

More pics here.  A composite color view.

Addition:  Carbon-dioxide ice on the south pole falling from clouds.

Related On This Site:   Via The Mars Science Laboratory At NASA: ”Mount Sharp’ On Mars Links Geology’s Past And Future’Via Youtube: ‘The Challenges Of Getting To Mars: Selecting A Landing Site

NASA Via Youtube: ‘The Martians: Launching Curiosity To Mars’NASA Via Youtube: ‘Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover) Mission AnimationRepost: Richard Feynman at NASA

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