Monday, August 06, 2012

MSL/Curiosity: MRO Saw the Chute!

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) got a pic of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) during its entry-descent-landing (EDL) phase. The above image shows MSL hanging from its hypersonic parachute, waiting for its descent to slow sufficiently for the descent stage and the Curiosity rover to drop loose and make the powered descent to the Martian surface.

MRO and the Mars Odyssey were assisting in the EDL of Curiosity. Odyssey was primarily relaying transmissions between earth and Curiosity, and MRO was primarily searching for images of the incoming spacecraft. In addition to their own missions, both orbiters will continue to assist in the Curiosity mission.

The Mars Science Laboratory / Curiosity rover mission is managed for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C., by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (Caltech). More information about Curiosity is online at www.nasa.gov/msl and mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl . You can follow the mission on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .

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