Science and Exploration

Do Mars Curiosity Images Show Descent Stage Crash?

By Keith Cowing
August 10, 2012
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Do Mars Curiosity Images Show Descent Stage Crash?
Possible Impact of Curiosity's Descent Stage

The distant blob seen in the view on left, taken by a Hazard-Avoidance camera on NASA’s Curiosity rover, may be a cloud created during the crash of the rover’s descent stage.
Pictures taken about 45 minutes later (right) do not show the cloud, providing further evidence it was from the crash.

The bright spot at upper center, which is larger in the view at right, is due to image saturation from looking at the sun.

These images are from the rover’s rear Hazard-avoidance cameras. They are one-quarter of full resolution.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Larger image

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