Questions tagged [curiosity]

Questions regarding the Curiosity rover launched by NASA for the purpose of Mars exploration.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Does curiosity's RTG generate neutrons as this NASA CheMin X-ray detection system webpage suggests? If so, how?

mars.nasa.gov's CheMin for Scientists (found here) says (about half-way down): Detection of X­-ray Photons by the CCD CheMin will use a 600 × 600 E2V CCD-224 frame transfer imager operated with a 600 ...
3
votes
0answers
72 views

How does Curiosity's X-ray diffractometer work? Does it measure only one angle at a time or does it have an area detector?

Per this answer to Are quasicrystals common on the Moon and Mars?, Curiosity has an X-ray diffractometer. X-ray diffraction from 3D crystals can (begin to) be understood by embracing Bragg's law. A 3D ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Have any Mars surface spacecraft had downward-pointing radiometers to measure the surface temperature? (not air temperature)

NASA's Insight; Weather gives us regular weather updates from Insight's location on Mars, an example is shown below. Temperature is of the air around the lander. Question: But does or has Insight or ...
6
votes
0answers
56 views

Has Curiosity ever taken a good hard look at the dirt covering its top surface? Can it? Have individual particles been sized?

I added some dirty pictures of Curiosity to Curiosity is still dirty! after August 9, 2018 (Sol 2137), and in this March 2021 selfie PIA24543: Curiosity's Selfie at Mont Mercou things still look ...
6
votes
1answer
352 views

White crack infill on the surface of Mars in the Gale Crater

The following picture, taken by the Curiosity rover in the Gale Crater on Mars in 2016 shows what appears to be a cracked Martian surface, with the Egg Rock nickel-iron meteorite. Ignoring the ...
27
votes
3answers
7k views

Why did the engineers at NASA's JPL put a Morse code on the wheels of Curiosity?

The Engineers at NASA's JPL made Curiosity's tires have a morse code imprint on them so that it would spell out JPL in the Martian soil. However, it has led to many cracks and deformations in the ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

How cold do Curiosity's & Perseverance's appendages get at night with all those sensitive cameras and lasers?

cropped from PIA19920: Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Big Sky' Drilling Site MastCam-Z, ChemCam/SuperCam and MAHLI are optical systems and ChemCam includes a telescope and a pulsed laser, but the ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Are there still no mission updates for Perseverance like there are for Curiosity?

Mission updates for the Mars Curiosity rover in the first months of the mission starting in August 2012 happened almost every day with detailed information about drive planning, the use of the ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Are the Perseverance rover's “drivers” working on Martian sols or Earth days right now?

Business Insider's What is it like to drive the Perseverance rover remotely? A NASA engineer explains the challenges of piloting the vehicle's journey across Mars. includes the following discussion of ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

What eventually happened to the Curiosity/Perseverence cruise stages?

The first event to occur when Curiosity or Perseverance arrived at Mars was the separation of the cruise stage. What were the ultimate destinations of the cruise stages? Continuing on in space? (...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

When the Mars 2020 and Mars Science Laboratory missions were in deep space, what antennas did they have to communicate with Earth?

This thorough answer to Did the Curiosity and Perseverance rover brains do the driving from Earth to Mars? explains that during deep space flight the rovers' computers were doing most of the thinking ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the Curiosity and Perseverance rover brains do the driving from Earth to Mars?

This interesting answer to Why did NASA intentionally crash-land the Curiosity and Perseverance sky cranes on Mars? leads me to wonder if the Curiosity and Perseverance rover computers were in charge ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Could the flyaway of the Curiosity/Perseverance skycrane be aimed in a particular direction?

The Perseverance rover is collecting samples of Martian rocks and soil, which will be picked up and returned to Earth on a future mission. In this comment to another question, I note that the sample ...
2
votes
0answers
100 views

Did the Mars 2020 Mission do any science that wasn't done by Perseverance proper?

Per answers to What is the equivalent of Curiosity's "MSL" in the context of Perseverance? What's the official name of the mission? Are the distinctions similar? Where does MSL end ...
7
votes
1answer
641 views

Sending Mars rover to the Moon

What would happen if a Mars rover (let it be Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity or Perseverance) would be sent to the Moon instead of the Mars? Let's not deal with the landing and let's ...
8
votes
0answers
120 views

How heavy were Perseverance's balance masses?

Perseverance ejected two 70 kg "cruise balance masses" just before it became an airplane, to move its center of mass off axis and increase its angle of attack from 0° to about 16° to make it ...
4
votes
2answers
518 views

Are there fluid disconnects that sever just before the Curiosity or Perseverance rovers separate from their cruise stages or landers?

In this comment under an answer to Heating Perseverance components prior to deployment I wrote: I think (but can not find a source yet) that there is even a loop of "hot water plumbing" ...
6
votes
1answer
82 views

Perseverance drove for the first time on Mars ! (on Sol 14) Can I find somewhere how much and in what direction?

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. The image was acquired on March 6, 2021. (Sol 15) Click on the image, and then again, for a closer view. Is there an (interactive) map that shows the route the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did Curiosity not have a camera on board to record the landing?

So we've had a question asking why Perseverance had a camera to record the landing and one asking if Curiosity did, but I can't find any information about why Curiosity did not have a camera on board ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

Did the Perseverance and Curiosity skycranes land gently, or did they crash?

I don't think I found any references as to further fate of the skycranes after detaching the rovers other than them "flying away" from the rover. Does NASA make any minimal effort to land ...
6
votes
1answer
162 views

How long will the “Send Your Name to Mars” chips aboard the Mars Landers and Rovers last?

I'm talking about the Chips NASA has placed on Curiosity, InSight and Perseverance: You could enter you name on https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/future and NASA etched your name on ...
27
votes
7answers
6k views

Curiosity and Perseverance landing - with so much dust blown everywhere, what's the point of the skycrane?

Curiosity and Perseverance were landed using the rather complex skycrane system because it would prevent the rockets from contaminating the landing site. But the video shows a great deal of dust being ...
5
votes
3answers
898 views

Why did NASA intentionally crash-land the Curiosity and Perseverance sky cranes on Mars?

The sky cranes for both the Curiosity and Perseverance landing systems were both intentionally crashed into Mars. According to this answer regarding intentional crash-landing of spacecraft in general, ...
4
votes
1answer
938 views

How far will Curiosty be removed from Perseverance?

I'd like to know the distance between the Curiosity rover on Mars (currently at Mount Sharp, I believe) and the landing site of the Perseverance rover (the Jezero crater). Is there an application or ...
3
votes
0answers
68 views

Sources for Mars rover sensor data

Is it possible to get sensor data from past or present martian rovers sent by NASA? Specifically, I'm looking for accelerometer and wheel torque data from the rovers. I've searched their "...
5
votes
1answer
523 views

Why doesn't the Perseverance rover have markers on its wheels like Curiosity?

The wheels of the Curiosity rover have hole patterns spelling J-P-L in Morse code. The reason why these existed in the first place was to help vision-based odometry and distance measurements, ...
4
votes
1answer
608 views

Why is NASA sending wavy grousers to Mars?

In this answer to What are the lines on the wheels of the Perseverance rover called? Are they different than Curiosity's? and in sources linked therein we've learned that the lines across the business ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Do aeroshells really get hotter than the surface of the sun?

This answer to How to design heatshield bluntness? says: Curiosity reentry dumped about 98% of its entry energy into the atmosphere, the aeroshell can still get to be temps greater than the surface ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What is the baseline for carbon isotope ratios?

In the Martian atmosphere, the ratio between concentrations of carbon-13 to carbon-12 has been measured, for example reported in Mahaffy, Paul R., et al. "Abundance and isotopic composition of ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

What is hot shoe and cold shoe in MMRTG?

As I was going through the book 'The Design and Engineering of Curiosity' by Emily Lakdawalla, I stumbled on these two words. Are they hot and cold section of thermocouple? What actually they do? The ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Why exactly does Curiosity's RTG make more electricity on cold days?

There is a fascinating factoid in this answer to MMRTG- thermal and electrical output: The electric power of the thermocouples depends on cooling influenced by the environment. On a cold day on Mars ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

Has ChemCam been used to characterize the martian atmosphere?

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) can be used to measure the composition of a solid, a liquid or a gas. LIBS is the technology used in ChemCam of the Curiosity rover and in the SuperCam of ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Did the Mars Science Laboratory do any science that wasn't done by Curiosity proper?

This answer to What is the equivalent of Curiosity's “MSL” in the context of Perseverance? What's the official name of the mission? Are the distinctions similar? got me thinking that answers to Where ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

What is the equivalent of Curiosity's “MSL” in the context of Perseverance? What's the official name of the mission? Are the distinctions similar?

Answers to Where does MSL end and Curiosity begin? explain the difference. There was much fanfare for the naming contest for the Perseverance rover, but I don't know what the mission is called. ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

At what incline would curiosity require twice the electrical power to drive compared to a flat grade?

Motors have losses and friction, and compaction of soil by a rovers wheels are lossy as well. Driving over bumps/topography requires extra work going up that isn't recovered when going back down. The ...
5
votes
1answer
271 views

How are the Curiosity rover's batteries doing after all these years (and all these cycles)? Have they degraded significantly?

Curiosity has spent 2820 sols on Mars and this answer to About how long will Curiosity last on its nuclear power? points out that its batteries may wear out faster than its RTG. Question: How are ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

How much altitude will curiosity gain by its climb now from the clay-bearing unit to the sulfate-bearing unit?

According to Space.com's NASA's Curiosity rover starts Red Planet road trip up Martian mountain: Curiosity's last stop from 2019 to this year was the "clay-bearing unit", another ...
7
votes
0answers
114 views

Why are Perseverance's wheels flatter?

As visible in the image above (and as most of you would have noticed!) the wheels on the upcoming NASA/JPL rover Perseverance seems to be largely different from Curiosity's wheels. A notable ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

What are the power specifications for Curiosity's 6 driving motors and the voltages of the two batteries, and what are the sources?

To calculate the maximum travel time for Curiosity without recharging its batteries, I would like to know the power specifications for its driving motors. And we need to know how much energy can be ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

View the surface of Mars via Hubble

Has the surface of Mars been observed by the mirror of Hubble ? For example, it could be a good idea for humans to be able to see the lovely Curiosity Rover via Hubble from above.
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Can any aspect of the brightness of Martian twilight be determined by Curiosity's photo of Earth?

Curiosity took this image of Earth on Jan. 31, 2014, 80 minutes after sunset. Stellarium has the Earth >15° above the horizon 80 minutes after sunset on that day. With Stellarium indicating the ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

What schedule do Curiosity operators follow so Mars Time does not negatively impact their performance and health?

In the Choosing Mars-Time: Analysis of the Mars Exploration Rover Experience paper (2004), the NASA Ames Human Factors group recommends that those working on the Mars Exploration Rover mission should ...
-2
votes
1answer
221 views

Why doesn't MAHLI get to be in Curiosity selfies?

note: Answer(s) to Why is a corner of InSight's selfie cropped like this? don't address this question about Curiosity for several reasons: It doesn't even answer that question properly. Insight is ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

How are Spacecraft Event Times (SETs) managed; to what timescales are they linked?

Spacecraft Event Time explains the importance of remembering just how darn slow light is; it takes minutes, hours, and in a few cases almost a day for light to travel one way between humans and their ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

When did Curiosity land in the Martian Darian calendar?

The New York Times' Why Mars Needs Leap Days, Too “I daresay there have been more different proposals for Mars calendars than there are different calendars for the Earth,” said Michael Allison, a ...
7
votes
1answer
477 views

Gravel on Curiosity Rover?

I was looking at a visually impressive Panoramic 360 video derived from photographs taken by Curiosity Rover. I noticed something curious, what looks like small pieces of gravel scattered across the ...
8
votes
1answer
137 views

During the MSL (Curiosity) Mars atmosphere entry, when was the last time the Reaction Control System used?

I understand that the Mars Scientific Laboratory used its Reaction Control System during its entry into the planet's atmosphere. At what altitude was the RCS last used? "Seven Minutes of Terror" ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Could the NOMAD instrument on the TGO detect methane at night with sufficient reflected sunlight or artificial light?

Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery (NOMAD) is a 3-channel spectrometer on board the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). Both the solar occultation (SO), and the limb nadir and occultation (LNO) ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

G forces on Mars Science Laboratory during parachute deployment?

The parachute for the MSL was "designed to survive deployment at Mach 2.2 in the Martian atmosphere, where it will generate up to 65,000 pounds of drag force." What was the G force the MSL ...
8
votes
1answer
244 views

How did the Curiosity rover on Mars manage to crack open a large area after drilling a hole?

The answer to this question has a link with this image, an animated GIF showing before and after views of a drill site on Mars. How did drilling at the site manage to disturb such a large area and ...