Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.

We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

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Posts tagged "Curiosity"

A look at the Curiosity Rover.


Mars Curiosity Rover

Happy mission birthday Curiosity!

As of Aug. 5, 2013, the Curiosity Mars rover has spent an whole year on the Red planet. (via Mars Curiosity Rover’s Year On Mars - Business Insider)

So there are organic compounds on Mars - maybe. Curiosity keeps on finding that out.


NASA Announces Mars Curiosity’s First Round of Soil Analysis

The take-away message? There’s some very interesting “maybes” but no definite “wows”.

A week or so after the misunderstanding about how “groundbreaking” these findings would actually be, NASA’s Mars rover team announced the results of their first soil sample analysis today. Remember that this rover is primarily an interplanetary geology lab, outfitted with the most advanced mineral chemistry instruments ever plopped down on another planet. So any hints of Mars one day being able to support life are going to start with eating a whole bunch of dirt.

Here’s a quick summary of the recent findings (good summaries at MSNBC and LA Times, too):

  • These first few rounds of soil samples are useful, but one of their main purposes is to clean out the internal instruments and make sure the onboard, self-contained lab is working correctly. The laser-eye and other instruments are cool, but it’s the stuff inside that will most precisely determine the molecules and elements that exist in Martian soil.
  • Curiosity processed a few scoops of coarse sand so far, which NASA compared to the big salt grains on a pretzel, from a region of Gale Crater called Rocknest. The machinery is all working fine, and any contaminating substances from Earth have probably been washed out by now.
  • The rover has found hints of organic molecules (a huge family of carbon-based chemicals that are the precursors to anything that could later lead to life), as well as a chlorine chemical called “perchlorate” (also found by a previous rover in 2008). Normally perchlorate would be toxic, but super-tough microbes could eat it, mayyyyyyyybe … if they also found lots of carbon-based molecules. Which they only have hints of. Really just traces of organics. A “scoche”. Got it?
  • Otherwise the soil was a pretty unremarkable mix of volcanic crystals, which is not surprising on Mars, since it’s home to many volcanoes, including the Solar System’s biggest. They also found traces of water, which we knew Mars had, and isn’t sufficient for life by itself (even Mercury has water ice!).
  • The next step is to continue checking this data to make sure - absolutely sure - that the chlorine and carbon aren’t from Earth. Then they need to see if they are just random leftovers from old meteors or dust hitting the red planet. Then, and only then, will they be able to say whether these chlorine-carbon molecules are special.

In the end, this finding is a big “maybe”. But that should not disappoint anyone. Because these early days are about proving that the mission is ready to proceed and that everything is working correctly. And NASA gets an A+ on that. We have 2+ years of experiments, on all kinds of rocks, waiting for us!

So keep your “Curiosity” engaged …

(via starstuffblog)

Waiting and waiting to hear what Curiosity`s big discovery on Mars is.


Mars discovery could be “one for the history books”.

NASA’s Curiosity rover has made a discovery that, if verified, could be huge news… apparently. NASA remain tight lipped about exactly what it is, until further testing verifies the data.

“This data is gonna be one for the history books,” John Grotzinger, the rover mission’s principal investigator, told NPR last week for a the buzz-inciting segment that aired today. ”It’s looking really good.”

What we do know is that the data comes from a soil sample analyzed by the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, an on-board lab known as SAM, so if the data holds up to further testing it appears possible, and perhaps likely, that it is a discovery of an element on Mars previously thought not to exist on the Red Planet.

(via starstuffblog)

Curiosity: The latest Mars Rover self-portrait. (Yes, we can`t get enough of this marvel!) ( 3TPNEY5RHQQC ) —- Don`t mind that. Technorati code).


High-Resolution Self-Portrait by Curiosity Rover Arm Camera

This incredible picture is a mosaic made up of 55 hi-res images taken by the MAHLI, the Mars Hand Lens Imager. That’s a camera designed to be able to take close-up shots of nearby rocks and other feature, but can also focus all the way out to infinity, allowing it to take pictures of distant geographical features as well.

This high-resolution mosaic is a more detailed version of the low-resolution version created with thumbnail images, at: . 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

(via imagineatoms)

Mars: Curiosity finds a dried stream-bed on Mars.


NASA Rover Finds Old Streambed On Martian Surface

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence — images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels — is the first of its kind.

Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream’s flow.

“From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep,” said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. “Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it.”

(via aperture-inc)

Curiosity: Self-portraits from Mars


Mars #Curiosity rover takes a picture of it’s self #Photography #NASA by destinati0nx