NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE Images - December 5, 2012

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012

- Impacts from MSL Tungsten Blocks and Cruise Stage

MSL (Curiosity) in cruise configuration jettisoned two 75-kilogram tungsten blocks just before atmospheric entry, used as cruise balance masses.

- Columnar Jointing on Mars and Earth

Finding evidence for large amounts of liquid water on Mars is important for understanding the planet's climate history and habitability.

- Colorful Fractured Bedrock in Ritchey Crater

The dark, ridgelike lines that cut across the colorful blocks may be dikes, formed when molten rock forced its way into pre-existing linear fractures in the surrounding rock.

- Apostrophe Dunes

The lack of symmetry within these dunes tells us that there is more than one wind direction acting here.

All of the HiRISE images are archived here:

Information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is online at The mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, of Denver, is the prime contractor and built the spacecraft. HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., of Boulder, Colo., built the HiRISE instrument.

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