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NASA Releases HiRISE Images of Curiosity's Descent 220

gcnaddict writes "NASA released content from the MRO HiRISE imager taken during the descent of the Curiosity Rover. Among the most notable artifacts are the images themselves as well as a diagram showing the exact location of the rover relative to NASA's target." Update: 08/07 00:15 GMT by U L : And now for a picture from the rover itself.


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NASA Releases HiRISE Images of Curiosity's Descent

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  • by lemur3 ( 997863 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @07:38PM (#40900397)

    I think something missed in all of this is how powerful imagery is.

    Imagine a world without photographs ?

    This mission, and ones before it.. highlight how important this invention, photography, is.

    We have photographs of this on its chute landing.. this is the second time we've done it.. and we got photographs back as soon as it landed.. This is great... and the excitement of the crew, and the public, upon seeing these images is a testament to how far photography has come in the past 150ish years.

    Kudos to all of those who made this happen.. for the science it will do.. and further affirming the power of images in our world..

  • by SomeJoel ( 1061138 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @07:49PM (#40900483)

    But there will always be pathetic yahoos who, out of some desire to make themselves feel important will deny our species' technical abilities.

    Yes, and they will post about it on the Internet without ever sensing the irony.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:27PM (#40900739)

    The difference is this: providing for the national defense of the United States is the constitutional duty of the federal government, funding for science and space projects is not.


  • Re:Too cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poly_pusher ( 1004145 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:28PM (#40900751)
    I don't care what it costs, I want a drill sent to Europa...

    Remember, all American's can have an impact on that decision. I was all for a reduction in manned space travel expenditures and ending the money pit that was the shuttle program "Thanks Nixon!" However, I was under the impression that they surely would not impose cuts to NASA and JPL's hugely successful unmanned missions. The things Nasa has accomplished over the past 15 years with rover's, probes, and telescopes is astonishing.

    Nope, you're not alone...
  • Re:Cheap Mission (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:44PM (#40900875)
    And which mission is the one trying to prevent another entire generation in that region from falling under the control of a bunch of medieval-minded religious thugs who drag school teachers out into the town square and shoot them in the head in front of their students for talking about current events and science? You know, things like landing an SUV on Mars with the help of female scientists who are allowed to drive themselves to work where they can talk to men, read and write, and make a living doing science.

    You're right. We can only do one thing at a time. We should focus on more rovers, and tell the Taliban that they're welcome to roll that region back into the Dark Ages again, and do their level best to work their way into more influence in nuclear-armed Pakistan.

    Or maybe it is possible to do two things, possibly even three things, at once? In the interests of both practicing fantastic science like this, and endeavoring to show the world that Western Civilization thinks its rude to burn down school houses for daring to talk about it. Nah, that's crazy talk, right?
  • Re:Too cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poly_pusher ( 1004145 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:47PM (#40900893)
    +1 :)

    Or Enceladus or a rover-y thing to Titan. Seriously though it seems like we've discovered all this amazing stuff about our solar system and right when we're on a solid path to explore these discoveries in depth, poof! there goes the funding...
  • Re:Too cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:55PM (#40900951) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, things are going the other way. NASA's unmanned space budget is being cut.

    Here lie the last remaining artifacts from a once-great race—the humans—their great potential cut down in its prime by their tremendous lack of foresight. For centuries, the great thinkers had shouted the need to venture among the stars, but their leaders were too busy worrying about building bigger and better weapons to defend themselves from their neighbors. When the great war came and the environment was poisoned beyond the ability to sustain life, the politicians pointed fingers and blustered their "I told you sos", but in the end, it made little difference. Their fate was sealed long before.

  • Re:Too cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:26PM (#40901141) Journal

    Why spend 2.5 billion on NASA when you can buy a few more Solyndra's.

    Why spend 2.5 billion on NASA when you can buy one B2 stealth bomber?

  • Re:money... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:36PM (#40901199)

    Competition s a basic tendency of humans. 2 billion dollars spent on getting an advanced robot to do something extremely difficult is so much better than competing to build more nuclear weapons, stealth drones, and cruise missiles, that disparaging it is counter your and my personal survival. The people who are hyper-paranoid will not stop feeling like all life is a savage competition because you criticise any non-violent competition between peoples groups or nations as not living up to your definition of 'loving'. Instead they will put all their competitive drive into making the whole planet into a smouldering pile of rubble in a misguided and delusional effort to wipe out everyone who even might be a potential enemy. If you want them to stop that, you learn to respect when competition gets focused into technological achievement, excellence in sports, creating art or pure science or even just persuing a harmless hobby, and not just taking care of people.
                Sure, you can tell them that a civilised country proves it's the freeest and best by building a better and better safety net for its citizens, feeding its poor, finding meaningful work for everyone, educating all citizens, and other such dreams if you want, and some of the hyper-competitive paranoids will listen a little and get on the bandwagon and grow out of being so afraid, but if you keep slamming everything else but basic care of the poor, all you will do is drive those people back into their caves, where they currentlly keep about 3,000 Megatons of very bad solutions to the problem of the poor and all those other things that just might be good in your eyes.
              Curiosity is about a lot more than just looking at some rocks, but even if you reduced it to that, how is it in any way morally inferior to spending about the same amount figuring out how to put Cobalt-60 jackets on thermonuclear weapons, just so you can make not only human life extinct but clear the planet of bacterial life as well? Spending 2 billion on preserving the 'vitally important' model railroading hobby is better than building more death machines. An Olympics is better than more instruments of totalitarian population control. Finding a cure for male pattern baldness is better than inventing weaponized Ebola. While we are at it, any of those things are better than rewarding bankers for screwing up everyone else's economy,. If you can waste your energy on sarcasm and insults for a program like Curiosity, just what are you willing to say to the Pentagon procurement offices, the TARP system, or Wall street in general? If you are not screaming at them, at the top of your lungs ,every second of every waking day, your responses are not sanely proportionate.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday August 06, 2012 @10:17PM (#40901397)

    The difference is this: providing for the national defense of the United States is the constitutional duty of the federal government, funding for science and space projects is not.


    Not sure how the Iraq war is really "providing for the national defense of the US" though.

    Maybe stop the war 2 weeks early and we could fund another couple of these amazing missions to Mars and beyond.

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.