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  • Martian Debris Field
    Posted by Guy Norris 1:32 AM on Aug 08, 2012

    Images from MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera show the Curiosity on the surface surrounded by the remnants of the heatshield, back shell, parachute and Sky Crane lander.

    NASA says the heat shield is some 4,900 ft away from the rover, while the back shell and chute are 2,020 ft away (below).

    The crash site of the Sky Crane is more distinct, the violence of the impact clearly indicated by the widespread disturbance of the surface. The site is 2,100 ft from the rover – which at 640 m, is almost 800 ft further than the margin planned.

    Interestingly, it appears the disturbance of the surface around Curiosity caused by the downblast of the Sky Crane’s rockets may also be visible as a darkened discoloration.

    Lastly, the on board cameras beneath the rover captured these unique snapshots of the heat shield falling away beneath Curiosity in the last phases of the landing just as the engines came on for the powered descent.

    Tags: os99, Mars, MSL, NASA, Curiosity

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