The Mars Rover Curiosity As Viewed From Mars Orbit

June 21, 2017

curiosity-on-mars.jpg

Note: Larger version HERE, zoomed and enhanced (but not really) version HERE.

This is a shot of the Mars Rover Curiosity (or possibly WALL-E) captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which, if you couldn't tell by the name, orbits the red planet. The blue planet with a red Speedo and green hair? That's Captain Planet, and he can usually be found orbiting near area high schools trying to recruit new Planeteers. Apparently NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter takes several shots of Curiosity each year as it speeds by in the Martian sky. Neato.

Curiosity appears as a blue splotch amid an intimidating group of rocks, cliffs, and dark sand. When the image was taken, the probe was heading uphill to an area containing hematite outcrops. Mission controllers are continuing to look for evidence of prior habitability on the Red Planet.


If the colors in this image look exaggerated that's because they are. The deliberate contrasts are intended to show differences in Mars' surface materials, which makes the rover look bluer than it actually is.

It's still hard for me to believe we actually sent that robot to Mars and it's there now. Especially considering how we faked the moon landing. I know we faked the moon landing because if we sent people to the moon why would they ever leave? What the hell does earth have that the moon doesn't? "I don't even know where to begin." Exactly, I just blew your mind. "No....that's not it." Yes it is too, stop talking.

Thanks to Let Me Join Your Space Team, who I'm considering to let join my space team, but only if that's their real name.

  • Jenness

    It's sad that NASA this week put out a report that galactic radiation is so strong w/the absence of an earth-like atmosphere that humans stand no chance of living over 10 years on that planet w/out dying of cancer from radiation poisoning. Even if we managed to build subterranean mega structures made out of a foot of lead and radiation deflecting metals - it would make for a really really depressing existence.

  • Octo

    Is making an artificial magnetic field really out of question? Sure it'll require tons of power..but we'll get there.

  • GeneralDisorder

    We need to work on nuclear power on earth. Right now all the grid scale nuclear power generation stations use steam loops and uranium ceramic fuel rods.

    But... a more efficient reactor design has already been tested (in the 70s). Unfortunately due to strict regulatory boards the initial investment would be in the billions (because the first one would be a test of current materials as well as a second proof of concept meant to prove it's financially viable).

    But... if we can operate molten salt reactors we can take nuclear waste from current reactors and crush it up, melt it in a molten salt reactor and generate power for decades without refueling. In fact the theoretical fission byproducts will mostly be high energy low halflife particles that we'll use to generate heat to power a steam loop or gas cycle loop (preferably gas cycle because the most dangerous part of any current nuclear facility is the high-pressure steam).

    When a molten salt reactor is finished making electricity you should be left with low energy radioactive materials with a long halflife but it won't need to be stored for thousands of years. You could basically refine what's left, put the fissile material into a new reaction chamber and the non-fissile materials can be used for... I don't know. We'll figure that out in the next 50 years or so.

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