World Bulletin / News Desk
NASA's newly landed Mars science rover Curiosity snapped thefirst color image of its surroundings while an orbiting sister probe photographed litter left behind during the rover's daring do-or-die descent to the surface, scientists said Tuesday.
Curiosity's color image, taken with a dust cover still on the camera lens, shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater, a vast basin where the nuclear-powered, six-wheeled rover touched down Sunday night after flying through space for more than eight months.
The picture proved that one of the rover's key instruments, a camera known as the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, was in good working order affixed to the end of Curiosity robot arm.
Designed to take magnified, close-up images of rocks and other objects, or wide shots of landscapes, the camera currently remains stowed on the rover's deck. But once in full operation, scientists can use it to capture fine details with a resolution as high as 13.9 microns per pixel -- several times finer than the width of a human hair.
"It works. It's awesome. Can't wait to open it and see what else we can see," Curiosity scientist Ken Edgett told reporters on Tuesday.
The latest images were relayed to Earth during the rover's first full day on the Red Planet, following a descent through the Martian atmosphere and touchdown on Sunday night that NASA hailed as the most elaborate and challenging ever in robotic spaceflight.
The $2.5 billion project is NASA's first astrobiology mission since the Viking probes of the 1970s, and the landing came as a much-welcome success for a space agency beleaguered by science budget cuts and the recent cancellation of its 30-year-old space shuttle program.
The primary mission of Curiosity, touted as first fully equipped mobile laboratory ever sent to another world, is to search for evidence that the planet most similar to Earth now harbors, or once hosted, the key ingredients necessary for the evolution of microbial life.
But mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California plan to put the rover and its instruments through several weeks of thorough checks and trial operations before gradually beginning science exploration in earnest.
They want to be sure the car-sized vehicle and its sensitive components came through the tricky, jarring final leg of Curiosity's 352 million-mile (566 million-km) journey to Mars without damage.
Encased in a protective capsule, the rover blasted into the Martian sky at 17 times the speed of sound and slowed itself using friction from steering through the thin atmosphere.
Closer to the ground, the vessel was slowed further by a giant, supersonic parachute before a jet backpack and flying "sky crane" took over to deliver Curiosity the last mile to the surface at 10:32 p.m. PDT on Sunday (1:32 a.m. EDT on Monday/0532 GMT on Monday).
A day later, NASA's sharp-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter surveyed the scene from a vantage point 186 miles (300 km) above the planet and found Curiosity's approach to Gale Crater littered with discarded equipment used to position the rover near a towering mountain rising from the crater floor.
"You can see all the components of the entry, descent and landing system," said camera scientist Sarah Milkovich.
The satellite's "crime scene" image, released Tuesday, lays out the trail of debris beginning about 1,312 yards (1,200 meters) from Curiosity's landing site. That is where the heat shield came to rest it was jettisoned during descent.
The back shell of the capsule, which contained the parachute, ended up about 673 yards away from therover. The last part of the elaborate landing system, the rocket-powered "sky crane" crash-landed 711 yards away after lowering Curiosity to the ground on a tether.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's image shows the heat shield in a region dotted with small craters, whileCuriosity is surrounded by rounded hills and fewer craters. To the north is a third type of terrain riddled with buttes, mesas and pits.
"If it were up to me I would go to where those three come together, so we could start to get the flavor of what's going on here in terms of the different geologic materials," Edgett said.
Scientists expect it will be weeks until Curiosity begins roving and months before it heads to the 3-mile (5-km) high mountain at the center of the crater, the primary target for the two-year science mission.
Scientists believe the mound, known as Mount Sharp, may have formed from the remains of sediment that once completely filled the basin, offering a potentially valuable geologic record of the history of Mars.
Product available for pre-order in nine countries but devices won’t ship for weeks.
Nobel Prize-winning scientists' discovery can be manufactured cheaper thanks to Nanografi process.
Most industry experts expect the first product of 5G technology in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The slowdown in the rate of rising temperatures, from faster gains in the 1980s and 1990s, has puzzled scientists because heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions
The discovery challenges currently held theories that black holes and their host galaxies grew in relative lockstep over the eons.
Australian researchers are developing the new way to have a final product for Boeing Co, Airbus Group NV, very quickly than now. 3D printing can cut production times for components from three months to just six days.
Bogachev is charged in the United States with running a computer attack network called GameOver Zeus that allegedly stole more than $100 million from online bank accounts.
The account started sharing videos and photos of the militant group a few days ago
U.S., UK spies hacked SIM card maker Gemalto's system, Intercept says, giving spies ability to monitor calls on billions of phones
The next time an earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest, a handful of computers in offices across the region will have access to a software that will send out an alarm, alerting people before the earthquake strikes.
Researchers in Britain have discovered that limpet teeth exhibit a strength that is potentially higher than spider silk.
Epigenetic differences are one reason identical twins, who have identical DNA, do not always develop the same genetic diseases, including cancer.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria.
The makers of mobile travel app "Bey2ollak" have warn on bomb scares and resulting hold-ups in Cairo and Alexandria using the hashtag #WhereIsTheBomb.
The preschool programme, aimed at children aged between three and six, is based on the Finnish National Curriculum, widely considered one of the world's best education systems.