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New Photo Captures Curiosity Rover, Landing Hardware, Parachute

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Imagery from orbiting spacecraft has pictured the four main pieces of hardware that arrived on Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover

The hardware has been spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

MRO’s High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera snagged this image of the landing area about 24 hours after Curiosity touchded down on Mars.

Shown here is the strewn hardware:

The heat shield was the first piece to hit the ground, followed by the back shell attached to the parachute, then the rover itself touched down, and finally, after cables were cut, the sky crane flew away to the northwest and crashed.

Relatively dark areas in all four spots are from disturbances of the bright dust on Mars, revealing the darker material below the surface dust.

By Leonard David


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