Weekly Mars rover report

This week the Mars rover “Curiosity” has been taking cool self-portraits and checking out the instruments that will analyze the Martian minerals. They’re also going to take videos of the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos overhead. Finally, they’ll move the rover a bit closer to its target, the interesting site Glenelg.  It’s only 400 m from the landing site, but the rover moves slowly.

Here’s the video weekly report, only 1 min 40 sec long; watch it.

h/t: Michael


  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    The most valuable Lincoln Cent in the universe?

    Lincoln Cent on Mars Rover

    The Lincoln penny in this photograph [see link] is part of a camera calibration target attached to NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity […] The penny is a nod to geologists’ tradition of placing a coin or other object of known scale as a size reference in close-up photographs of rocks, and it gives the public a familiar object for perceiving size easily when it will be viewed by MAHLI on Mars.

    The specific coin, provided by MAHLI’s principal investigator, Ken Edgett, is a 1909 “VDB” penny. That was the first year Lincoln pennies were minted and the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The VDB refers to the initials of the coin’s designer, Victor D. Brenner, which are on the reverse side. Brenner based the coin’s low-relief portrait of Lincoln on a photograph taken Feb. 9, 1864, three day’s before Lincoln’s 55th birthday, by Anthony Berger in the Washington, D.C., studio of Mathew Brady

  2. Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Star Bear Publications and commented:
    Rover Adventures Continue

  3. nurnord
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


    On the coin !
    I wonder how long it will take the bible thumpers to realise and start boasting, that their god (not worthy of a capital) has essentially been endorsed on another planet ! Imagine a martian reading it and thinking it applies to every human ‘over there’ ! Nightmare !

    • Hempenstein
      Posted September 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Too bad it wasn’t a Buffalo nickel – no IGWT on them. And, altho motivated for a different reason, if Teddy Roosevelt had had his way, it wouldn’t be on any coinage, as witness the original godless St Gaudens double eagles of 1907&8.

  4. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    No signs of results from the SAM experiment looking for methane in the atmosphere, started over a week ago and presumed to deliver results “the next week”.

    Oh well, there’s still Friday.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted September 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of Curiosity, I’m not sure if astrobiology is off topic since this is filed under “astronomy”.

      If not, the big astrobiology news today is Gustavo Caetano-Anolles et al protein fold family work on large genome megaviruses and medium large genome viruses that draws up a complete and rooted ToL with Viruses at the root. Apparently Viruses use many of the oldest folds, and all the different methods make 4 distinct domains with a Viruses – Archaea – Bacteria/Eukaryote tree.

      The reason this hasn’t been obvious in earlier data is early reductive evolution, I take it. “Thus, mimiviruses (and megaviruses) should be viewed as the least reduced forms of an ancestral virus or cell that either coevolved or predated the cellular ancestors.”

      Eye-balling their protein fold domain tree, it seems to me these viruses split off early when the domain diversification started, making a nice correlation. But maybe they couldn’t test for that with the data at hand.

      How the distinction between different RNA and DNA viruses fits into the picture I don’t get, I have to read it. “Modern day viruses are recognized by smaller gene repertoires. It is possible they are also the reduced forms of an ancient viral lineage that coexisted with LUCA (very much like the dsDNA viruses we studied). It is less likely however that their initial origin was polyphyletic and driven by HGT from cells.”

      • Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of Curiosity, I’m not sure if astrobiology is off topic since this is filed under “astronomy”.

        Even if it’s offtopic, I appreciate it — and I hope Ceiling Cat doesn’t frown on it. I rather doubt he would, but….

        Anyway, thanks! Here’s hoping you find plenty more opportunities to post similar updates in the future.


      • Dominic
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:43 am | Permalink

        Always on the ball!

  5. docbill1351
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Check this out:

    HD movie of descent.

    Watch full screen!

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