Here is a rover’s eye view of driving, scooping and drilling during Curiosity’s first year on Mars, August 2012 through July 2013. Courtesy of NASA/JPL
As part of my senior “capstone” course at ASU, we had to design and build a small-scale tele-operated rover. Our design was selected to compete in the 2013 RASC-AL “Robo-Ops” competition at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston TX.
You can view ASU’s competition run at the video link shown above. To learn more about the RASC-AL competition, visit: http://www.nianet.org/RoboOps-2013/index.aspx
It’s time once again for the Perseid Meteor Shower! If the weather is favorable in your location, head outside after midnight local time and watch in the region of Perseus (low in the Northeast). This years shower looks to be pretty impressive with the possibility for over fifty meteors per hour at the peak.
During some Perseid meteor showers, conditions are more favorable than others. Sometimes a full moon can drown out the faint flashes of meteors, however this year a waning crescent will be rising around 1 AM local time. The crescent moon will interfere to a small amount, but nowhere near as bad as a full moon.
If you have binoculars, look directly overhead for some great views of the summer Milky Way. If you are at a very dark site, you might not even need binoculars to see the cloud-like outline of the Milky Way.
For the best meteor shower experience, make sure to bring some comfortable camping/lawn chairs, some snacks and your favorite beverage. Try to avoid alcoholic drinks, as they do affect eyesight. Be patient, have fun, and remember to keep looking up!
In the foreground are several grey “splotches” that are of interest to mission scientists, which are caused by the downward blast from the rockets on the sky crane descent stage. Also of interest to scientists are shades of reddish brown around dunes, which may indicate different textures or materials.
The images were taken on Aug. 9, 2012, by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing as Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does.