Exploration of Gale Crater

First up the REM that is the metrological unit had a download anomaly on sol 1. It was deemed healthy on sol 0. The anomaly was found to be a software issue between the various data flow rates and protocol between separate orbiters. New software programs have been uploaded to Curiosity to correct this Comm. Issue.

Sol 1 data from the REM was shown to be above the anticipated model outputs. No thermal data has been released but during the 1:00 EDT briefing it will not hurt operations. In contrast the energy planned for seems to be below what will be needed.
No pressures have been release but the landing site is -4500 ft. below Mars sea level. The first NAVCAM image shows possible inversions and associated haze along the mountains to the North. Because of the above temperature anomalies this is most likely dust. Humidity data not yet released would rule out fog.



Correction, the energy planned for is above what will be needed. Warmer is better we think. This is -5 degrees below the equator. +35C was recorded in the open terrain. Gale would be considered a mesoscale climate. That would be a micro climate on steroids.


For the rock guys.


This is a thumbnail view from above. Have no idea where the *camera* is. Where is an image guy when you need him?

My rock paper suddenly appared on UMSF.
That's right they are reading.

The time dates dont lie.....

Inverted riverbed in gale
That should Keep UMSF off balance. LMFAO
extra extra Read all about it....


This IR nighttime image shows traditional cooling with anomalies in higher topographical areas. The REM seems to be a thermal enertia anomaly associated with hydrology.

Er..that is water


I was preparing an anaglyph for the landing spot, and as indicated by the white arrow on the left of the image, the actual rover sits outside the image frame. Just a small distance beyond the arrow.
I had to severely crop this to keep below 10MB, and lightened these huge dark dunes at the mountain base to show the finer details. There is an apparent serious problem with a direct approach. The terrain may be more favorable for travel upon closer approach. As the 3D effect is exaggerated, the terrain fine details are an open question.
The most interesting parallel bench series at the northern slope may be the terrain I recall mentioned in videos during the landing.
Obvious large channel drained towards Curiosity from the upper slope. Weather or is Aeolis Mons a extinct volcano network?

Lesser drainage sections with sharp margins.

The shallow depressions around Curiosity are subsidence or evacuated residuals of the large drainage channel.

Will we find a record of weather here, additional to the obvious massive outpouring of semi-liquid materials?
Was the subsidence pond chemistry largely water?

Can anyone stitch the various anaglyphs in the rover zone?

The image is near to a map orientation directionality.


Download the image to capture it's full size. From HiRISE pair anaglyph as ESP_024023_1755 .
The annotated landing scene found to the left of my anaglyph image. A MSL mission original loaded to my image host. Not altered.


It appears that the subsidence depression to the north-east of Curiosity has a series of shallow concentric bench steps of equal measure, and they are not the same as the mountain slope larger bench series.
Evaporation(water), or volatile and chemical release? A close target for an easy early story?

Good to have you here brother.

HD of heat shield seperation

This image shows the two excavations by the landing jets. This was noted by the 1:00 PM EDT briefing. It will be the first exploration of the "bedrock."


The Comm. anomaly is not associated with the temperature anomalies. You should know.


See the original caption of the picture PIA16012: Rover's Self Portrait in the JPL Photojournal for an explanation of how the self portrait was created.

On another topic, using the small initial hazard avoidance image, I estimated some of the angular pieces I could view were in appearance flat, thin, platy, without apparent side shadows. I was wrong, perhaps. These seem to be fairly thick 3D shapes for most all the larger angular shapes, and the few thin items I am seeing are probably relics of the landing process.

The image at Fred's #10 shows on the right, a portion of the harness released, as best I can tell. Also this 'pyro' shape was in another early navcam front side picture. There seems to be some resolution-focus problems generally. The focus and resolution were not problematic with Fred's #9 display of the heat shield released, imaged with the MARDI camera.

Enlarged 2x and altered some. Image title gives the particular source.

Are we in new geology territory with a lack of thin layers?
The initial images do not show sufficient detail to resolve them perhaps.

With 'auto-stitch' capabilities, we can expect a variety of landscape scenes from this rover? I'll read the links to catch up.

Fred, Thanks for posting the view in reply 10. Has anyone figured out the direction the camera was pointed? I have tried to match the mountains with the north-west rim of Gale without any success.

from http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Mars-Sonde-Curiosity-Gesendete-Bilder-ermoeglichen-Panoramaaufnahmen-1663717.html

The good news, for those not aware of him, is that Ryan Anderson of the Curiosity team is blogging regularly at:

Thanks pit, for your 15. Granules and pebbles seem to have been thrown onto the rover deck during the landing. Some appear to be struck to sloped surfaces. Something like Phoenix?

sol 3 natural color and enhanced difference false color of retro-rocket pits:

This will make an excellent first target for the laser zapper.

I am particularly interested in the "green" rocks.

Watching the televised update of Fri, Aug 10,2012, I noticed a suggestion that the reconnaissance of the low northern and east-west altered subsidence pond ares is not the discussed aim of early investigation of this varied terrain. The suggestion was that a direct path to the Mount Sharp(Aeolis Mons) slopes was to be to the west and south, avoiding deep dunes, and running apparently parallel to them to begin ascent of the mountain.
While I understand some of the concern for early failure, why would the down slope shallow pits not be first seek and find path for minerals hydrated or water altered?
If we find water affected sulfates and clays, and other water influenced materials as the ascent happens, how could the rover return to the landing site zone to compensate for the lack of initial interest in down slope travel of liquids or a groundwater table exposure with subsidence?
As the liquid flow will be down slope, and as all the altered stacked minerals are probably older than the subsidence pits, why the rush in a multi-year traverse?

Altering this mountain central peak area shows what appears to be an apex of two nearly equal area wedge shapes of differing history, as seen somewhat in original satellite images. Alteration of the images gives near symmetry in surface area to the east and west 'wedge shaped' up-slope mountain aspects. The landing area is at the 'apex' of the overlapped zone of the two shapes. As one appears more semi-liquid flow shaped, that is the western side of Sharp, we would be seeking the path along the far more eroded west section, and finding a mixed alteration history. Perhaps they are seeking early validation of the weathering causes, and a less pristine slope with ease of travel in mind. Will we be missing the Eastern Sharp history if we are seeking only the Western Sharp section?