Curiosity Opens Her Eyes For The First Time

Great news keep coming from the red planet: Curiosity has opened her eyes for the first time. She took a good look around and decided that life was good on Mars — albeit a bit lonely. Updated with panoramas.

The navigation cameras — the eyes that will guide her around Mars — have been activated, and they're beaming perfect images down to Earth. The left camera may have had a problem at the beginning at first — the image was dark and had a weird white artefact. It actually looked like she was slowly opening her eyelids.

The right camera didn't have the same problem and was sending perfect images from the moment it was turned on.

I can imagine someone at mission control singing "Oh You Pretty Things!" in his or her head. "Wake up, you sleepy head, put on some clothes, shake up your bed..."

The first two images sent by the left navcam — on the left — was black and had a weird artefact. The rest of the pictures are fine.

Both navigation cameras are operational now.

Update: The ongoing press conference is revealing some good bits of information. JPL has received the first high-resolution video frames of the descent, taken by the MARDI camera. The final video is going to look fantastic.

MARDI has also taken images of the ground under the rover:

They have also created new low-resolution panoramas made from the thumbnails obtained by the navcams. We will have the first high-definition panorama of Curiosity's surroundings in a day or two, but this looks so good already:

Here's a preview of what the panorama will look like when done. It's made partially with low-resolution images:

Even more spectacular is the spherical projection of the panorama, showing Curiosity in full:

The team is pointing out that this looks very Earth-like. An image that could have been taken at the Mojave Desert.

The photos also reveal surface areas that have been excavated by the thrusters of the sky crane. This is a bonus, as we can see things without even having to start scooping material. NASA's scientists say that they can see bedrock under the gravel.


Comments

    "The team is pointing out that this looks very Earth-like. An image that could have been taken at the Mojave Desert."

    Cue the conspiracy theorists. Good one NASA, give them even more ammunition.

      That is exactly what I was thinking

      Screw the conspiracy theorists. Why should NASA make concessions on their behalf?

        Because we live in a democracy, someone else's mere opinions can come back to bite us if they make a democratic decision based on it. Misinformation is a plague that free speech can let in.

        Not saying that NASA shouldn't have said it. We just need to give the conspiracy theorists a slap instead of ignoring them.

          Yeah, like there has never been a conspiracy or a cover up. It is a person's duty to be a sceptic. Some people blow it out of proportion and ignore the facts just to believe a more interesting story, but it's never time to stop questioning things.

          No. Ignoring them is exactly what needs to happen. Quacks and crankpots don't deserve the acknowledgement that reprimand provides and it fuels their delusion because they perceive the reprimand as "cover-up."

      God dammit NASA, stop feeding the Trolls.

    No 5 is alive.

    dont they have a colour camera?

      I swear, if one more person makes a comment like this..

      It's on Mars. MARS. Getting high-resolution colour images isn't a problem for the rover. What is a problem is sending them to us. And that's ignoring other potential complications - one delay was waiting for the dust at the landing sight to settle so they could pop protective caps off the cameras.

        Isn't that what wifi was invented for? duh.

        Sarcasm Sign.

          A round of applause for you, sir! I was thinking exactly the same thing. There are photos being sent back from f**king Mars!!!
          Why is that not impressive enough for you gen-y foot-stomping "I want everything now" little berks! I won't lie to you, there's a part of me tha wishes NASA would withhold the colour images out of spite, just so you people do t get what you seem to be constantly demanding. Tools!

            I meant for the above reply to be directed at Everblight, BTW.

        I want streaming 4k now!!

        Thankyou Everblight. I'm also having a lot of 'if one more person'... moments in the past few days.

        In order to add to your response - yes, it does have the ability to produce colour images, but it's not quite the same technology as your phone camera, Jeff. The Rover IS NOT THERE FOR PRETTY PHOTOS. The photos are a secondary thing, mostly the only reason they're doing photos is to work out where they are, and where they're going. Also, images do help to show some scientific things. But not as many as the digging up and analysing it'll be doing.

        As I keep saying to people - NASA didn't spend all that time and money to send a camera. It's not there for our entertainment.

      Typically these pictures are taken in black and white with filters that allow certain wave lengths of light through. Multiple pictures with different filters are assembled to create the colour images we see. This is a common way with pictures from extra-planetary vehicles and probes but may not be the only way they are created.

    Does this mean we'll be getting street view of mars on google maps soon?

    So many pics already! With 6 times more cameras than the last rovers, this thing is going to be a constant source of screen-savers, can't wait for the high res colours.

      Hell yeah.
      New scientist have posted a 3d anaglyph, but the image is a tad on the tiny side unfortunately.
      Will wait patiently for more to turn up.
      *taps fingers, hums a tune*

    Due to the large amount of time required to beam a HD photo back, they send the black and white thumbnails first, so then if they see anything of interest, they can then request to download the full thing. It'll probably have to remain in low power state, motionless and the request must be sent when the rover first becomes visible to earth in the morning - This is because if something goes wrong with the tranfer, and have to restart it, they won't have to wait a full day for it to happen.

    You'd think they would get something better than a 56k modem installed in this beast.

      the issue is sending the data back over 250 million kilometers, and THEN receiving said data, the isnt really a way to send lots of data that far really quickly without risking lots of dropped data packets.

    just a bit more on a topic
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/08/08/Curiosity-interview-with-Malin-Space-Science-Systems-Mike-Ravine

    I'll bet there's a few scientists who regard that thing as their baby, borderline paternal. Wonderful piece of technology.

    ....they really should have put little eyeballs on it.

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