Saturday, July 27, 2013

Computer is Fixed PLUS Mars Rover Update

I left for Marquette very early yesterday morning to go and pick up my repaired computer.  For any of you who live in the U.P. -- I highly recommend 906 Technologies.  They not only do a great job repairing computers, but they also have web and app design engineers.  I met with one guy -- we are exploring the idea of developing apps for mobile devices to help people identify beach rocks, find agates, and maybe a few more.  I was going to buy a new computer, given that my computer had an issue.  However, once he took my computer apart, we found out the issue.  During lots of hours when I was working on the Online Rockhounding Class, one of my cats laid at my side.  His position was right next to the air intake.  Yes, the inside of my computer had a lot of cat hair.  It seems that the cooling fan was not yet defective.  Once the technician, David, cleaned the computer -- it works terrific!  It is also a lot quieter.  Now I know why my computer was starting to make more noise.


Since I have been so busy lately, I have not had any chance to go on a hike or take scenic pictures.  So for today's blog posting, I'll update everyone on the Mars Rover, Curisoty.

The image below was taken by the rover just after completing a drive that took the mission's total driving distance past the 1 kilometer (0.62 mile) mark. The image was taken on July 16, 2013, during the afternoon of 335th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The view is in the direction of the next planned drive, toward the southwest. Portions of the rover's left and right front wheels are visible at the sides of the scene.

The Sol 335 drive covered about 125 feet (38 meters) and brought the mission's odometry to about 3,376 feet (1.029 kilometers). In early July 2013, the rover began a multi-month trek from the Glenelg area, where it worked for more than six months, toward a destination area of the lower layers of Mount Sharp, still about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away.

The photo below shows the view from Curiosity's camera in recent days.  The image shows the terrain Curiosity is crossing in Gale Crater. The image is rotated 150 degrees to provide this right-side-up scene. The scene is toward the south, including a portion of Mount Sharp and a band of dark dunes in front of the mountain. It was taken on the 340th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars, shortly after Curiosity finished a 329.1-foot (100.3-meter) drive on that sol. The drive was twice as long as any previous sol's drive by Curiosity.

The photo below was taken by the orbiter.  It was shot on June 27, 2013, when Curiosity was at an outcrop called "Shaler" in the "Glenelg" area of Gale Crater. Subsequently the rover drove away from Glenelg toward the southwest.

Curiosity appears as a bluish dot near the lower right corner of the photo below. The rover's tracks are visible extending from the landing site, "Bradbury Landing," in the left half of the scene. Two bright, relatively blue spots surrounded by darker patches are where the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft's landing jets cleared away reddish surface dust at the landing site. North is toward the top. For scale, the two parallel lines of the wheel tracks are about 10 feet (3 meters) apart.
When  the photo was taken, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was rolled for an eastward-looking angle rather than straight downward. The afternoon sun illuminated the scene from the western sky, so the lighting was nearly behind the camera. Specifically, the angle from sun to orbiter to rover was just 5.47 degrees. This geometry hides shadows and reveals subtle color variations.

The series of maps below shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity from the 340th through the 346th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars between July 21st and July 24th.

Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. The scale bar is 200 meters (656 feet).

From Sol 340 to Sol 342, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 191.9 feet (58.49 meters).

From Sol 342 to Sol 343, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 107.15 feet (32.66 meters).

From Sol 343 to Sol 344, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 225.79 feet (68.82 meters).

From Sol 344 to Sol 345, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 202.95 feet (61.86 meters).

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