This answer has a nice video of Curiosity's descent to MARS. The images come from the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI), which is mounted on the underside of the rover.

Was there any camera mounted on the sky crane that imaged the rover as it was lowered to the surface?

  • $\begingroup$ Adding the weight of a camera to take images only during the very short phase of sky crane operations? $\endgroup$ – Uwe Jan 22 '20 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe From the linked page, I understand that MARDI also didn't really serve a science objective or EDL role (as it was descoped and later added again) - seems to me like "nice to have". Even a low-res camera could perhaps have given some insights in how the crane performed in relation to predictions and testing on Earth. $\endgroup$ – Ludo Jan 22 '20 at 16:43
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    $\begingroup$ The images of the MARDI cam during decent helped to identify the landing location on the Mars orbiter images. A camera mounted to the sky crane could not help locating the landing spot. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Jan 22 '20 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ Seems they listened ;-) Image of Perseverance hanging from the sky crane as it was lowered to the surface. $\endgroup$ – Ludo Feb 20 at 8:37

As described in The Development of the MSL Guidance, Navigation, and Control System for Entry, Descent, and Landing, the sky crane only has the Terminal Descent Sensor (TDS), which only has a doppler radar and no camera.

There are therefore no images of Curiosity during the sky crane operations

sky crane diagram


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