Questions tagged [curiosity]

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

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Has the Curiosity rover ever communicated directly with Earth via its high-gain antenna? Signal strength & data rate?

In the question How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? I show an image of the hexagonal, articulated high gain antenna on the curiosity rover, as well as ...
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Is this photo of Mars in color?

This recently released terrain of Mars as taken by the Curiosity Rover looks like it was done in black and white. Is this really how it looks like to the naked eye? From here.
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Why doesn't the perchlorate on Mars' surface oxidize metallic meteorites?

"Egg Rock" is a smooth, shiny nickel-iron meteorite found sitting on the surface of Mars on 30-Oct-2016. It is described the next day in Arizona State University's Red Planet Report website: Curiosity:...
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Why is this “grainy footage” of a Martian (sky) from Curiosity so grainy? Cloud snaps by Opportunity look great!

A paper from the 2017 meeting Lunar and Planetary Sciences XLVIII describes a systematic observation of the Martian sky, with a sequence of eight taken every day at zenith and near-horizon angles. ...
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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 ...
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How would wheel attrition of MSL Curiosity play out to end of mobile mission?

Let's assume a scenario where wheel damages is what ends Curiosity's mobility on Mars. What kind of damages to the wheels would cause immobilization? For example, would a wheel collapse (i.e. become ...
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Puzzler: help understanding these amazing Curiosity eclipse GIFs

Starting from Curiosity Observes Sunset Eclipse: Sol 2358 I found three images in the sequence PIA23133, PIA23134, and PIA23135 which I thought would mean (but don't know for sure) that they are ...
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Where does MSL end and Curiosity begin?

There are tags for mars-science-laboratory and curiosity but I don't really understand how the Mars Science Laboratory begins and the Curiosity Rover begins conceptually, spatially, or chronologically....
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How (if possible) can we assess the isotope variations on martian soils?

I'm personally interested in the biological implications of different isotope variations on biology. This can be tested on earth by separating them and just observing, but determining the isotope ...
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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 ...
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Mars twilight photos

From the file:PIA19401-MarsCuriosityRover-GaleCrater-Sunset-Animation-20150415.gif Of the four images below from the gif, one of them depicts twilight. Were there anymore twilight images in this ...
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Is it recorded and/or documented when and where Curiosity's ChemCam's laser has zapped on Mars?

The article with the title "NASA Rover's Images Show Laser Flash on Martian Rock" tells us that the ChemCam's laser had zapped more than 600 rock and soil targets on Mars since Curiosity landed in ...
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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 ...
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How to calculate Coordinated Mars Time (MTC)?

I'm trying to figure out how to calculate Coordinated Mars Time (MTC). Can it be calculated directly from Earths current time/date, or calculated from the current Mars Sol Date (MSD)? From this wiki ...
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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 ...
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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 "...
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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 ...
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Could the bright spot on the image captured by Curiosity have been caused by a data transmit or storage failure?

The image above, one of a total of 21 images shot over a 4 minutes span, was captured by Curiosity on June 16,2019 or sol 2438 on Mars. Only in this image a bright spot shows up, while the next and ...
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Curiosity with caterpillars? [duplicate]

Why doesn't curiosity (or other) use caterpillar tracks (like tanks) instead of wheels? It would be good for rough terrain and slow speed, and this is exactly the situation. Regards
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Do Curiosity's reported measurements of Mars' surface gravity (~3.717 m/s^2) include centrifugal effects?

In this answer I discuss the first results in the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2016) conference paper First Gravity Traverse on the Martian Surface from the Curiosity Rover and a more ...
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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 ...
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Do Mars rovers have irises? How do they safely look at the Sun?

This excellent answer by @MarkAdler to the question Opportunity's last tau was 10.8; what does that mean and how is tau defined and measured? explains that Curiosity uses its PanCam to image the Sun's ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why does Curiosity have two images of itself on itself, or is one a QR-code?

The first image in CNN"s New images show Mars as you've never seen it before shows a partial "selfie" by the Curiosity rover which includes what looks like two images on the rover itself. The one on ...
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How does the Mars 2020 rover's suspension and center of gravity compare to Curiosity's?

Gizmodo's NASA Put Wheels on Its Mars 2020 Rover and Holy Crap This Is Actually Happening says: The tube-like legs that support the wheels are constructed from titanium, and they’re similar to high-...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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) ...
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Camera costings for Opportunity/Spirit/Curiosity rovers

I'm currently working on a project investigating the practicalities of a Mars Sample Retrieval rover, as part of my qualification. My area of concern is command/control, and I am struggling to find a ...
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What is mast camera? And what does it do?

The mast camera is on curiosity but I don't really know what its about . it is know that it's official on curiosity but I don't know what it's used for.
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How many times has Curiosity switched between its two redundant computers? (“brain switch”)

While not as dramatic as "cross-circuiting to A" in the video, The NASA JPL news item Curiosity Rover to Temporarily Switch 'Brains' indicates that Curiousity has been switched back to "...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Radioisotope thermoelectric generator vs Solar? [duplicate]

What circumstance would a radioisotope thermoelectric generator is better to use than solar cells in space probes and rovers?
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Color-correcting photos on Mars so that things look like they would on Earth - is it a big correction?

The message at the end of the very cool new NASA JPL video Curiosity at Martian Scenic Overlook says To aid geologists, colors in the image are white balanced so rocks appear the same color as the ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...

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