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Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Science |

NASA probe captures the landing with his parachute Curiosity

NASA probe captures the landing with his parachute Curiosity

(C) NASA

Thanks to mathematics and some luck, the Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) orbiting Mars, captured an amazing image of the time the Curiosity down hanging from a parachute to the Martian surface. In black and white image you can see the parachute deployed and a smaller spot representing the Curiosity in its shell along with the overhead crane that allowed landing.

The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on board the probe was in charge of photography. “If took the photo a second before or a second later, we’d probably be looking at a desert landscape of Mars. When you consider that we have been working in this sequence since March and had to send commands to the spacecraft 72 hours before the photo was captured, you start to realize how difficult it was to get this picture, “said Sarah Milkovich, researcher NASA’s HiRISE.

The parachute had a mission to reduce the speed with which came the rover to the red planet’s atmosphere, from about 578 m/s to 100 m/s about the time when they could turn braking rocket ship.

The image was captured from about 355 km altitude, before the start of the second process of braking rockets. At that time, Curiosity was about 3 kilometers from the surface.

Not the first time the HiRISE image achieved like this: In 2008, NASA engineers had done the calculations for the probe to take a photo of the Phoenix Lander . This time, however, the was closer, and the size of the parachute (with a diameter of 15 meters) was greater than that of Phoenix.

Meanwhile, the Curiosity is deploying its instruments on the surface of Mars in order to take photographs in color and high resolution that can be sent to Earth – is expected this week.

Link: NASA’s Curiosity Rover Caught in the Act of Landing (NASA)

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