News / Science & Technology

    Curiosity Rover Sends Back Voice, Photos From Mars

    VOA News
    The U.S. space agency NASA has achieved another first with its Mars Curiosity rover: the first recorded human voice that traveled from Earth to another planet and back.
     
    The recorded voice of NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden greeted members of the Curiosity team late Monday.
     
    "This is Charlie Bolden, NASA administrator, speaking to you via  the broadcast capabilities of the Curiosity rover, which is now on the surface of Mars.''

    Photo Gallery of Latest High-Resolution Images From Curiosity
    • This image shows the base of Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual science destination. Scientists enhanced the color to show the Martian scene under the lighting conditions we have on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain.
    • This image shows track marks from the rover's first Martian drives. The rover's Bradbury Landing site and its first tire marks are seen at center, in the distance, while tracks from the second drive are in the foreground. Mount Sharp is on the horizon.
    • The gravelly area around Curiosity's landing site is in the foreground. Beyond the swale is the red-brown rim of an impact crater. Further in the distance, there are dark dunes and the layered rock at the base of Mount Sharp.
    • The 100-millimeter Mastcam has 3x better resolution than Curiosity's 34-millimeter Mastcam, though it has a narrower field of view. Some haze obscures the view, but the top ridge, depicted in this image, is 10 miles (16.2 kilometers) away.
    • This color panorama shows a 360-degree view of the landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover, including the highest part of Mount Sharp visible to the rover. That part of Mount Sharp is approximately 12 miles (20 km) away from the rover.

     
    Bolden went on to note the difficulty of sending a probe to the surface of Mars, and congratulated NASA employees and the agency's partners on the successful landing of the rover earlier this month. He said Curiosity is what drives humans to explore.
     
    The voice playback was released along with new photographs of the varied Martian landscape. The telephoto images beamed back to Earth show a scene of eroded knobs and gulches on a mountainside, with geological layering clearly exposed.
     
    Dave Lavery, a NASA program executive, said it is hoped the Curiosity rover’s mission will inspire someone alive today to become the first person to stand on Mars.
     
    Curiosity landed on Mars in early August to begin a two-year mission studying the planet’s surface. It will use 10 science instruments to assess whether a selected study area ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

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    Comments
         
    by: Daniel from: montreal
    August 30, 2012 2:47 PM
    Amazing mission.. To all i give my congrats.. there is just something that i must express as a visionary i just cant stop to understand with all the technology available why dint anyone express the need to also accommodate a drone on curiosity ..can you imagine having a drone even if the drone mission would be short (fuel) but at least having the ability to travel 100 of kilometers and send the drone where curiosity cant it would be something to dream about who knows what we might see
    In Response

    by: Tyson from: Washington
    September 01, 2012 12:12 AM
    So, from what I have gathered so far, it seems that there are only two 10 minute windows per day to send/receive data from Mars due to the orbit & distance. The piloting of a drone would have to be automated. All data(video) would have to be collected via self-sufficient drones on a predetermined flight path and then transmitted in one package. Hard. Possible.
    In Response

    by: Tyson from: Washington
    August 31, 2012 10:56 PM
    I think that the signal delay is about 14 minutes(something close to that at least). This delay would make an unstable(atmospheric conditions) flying machine nearly impossible to navigate. I am sure that the good people at NASA thought about this. We should be working on this technology though. Good idea.
    In Response

    by: Gyanendra Sinha from: India,Noida
    August 31, 2012 12:54 AM
    Very valid point and suggestion.

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