Curiosity – Sol 1 – Landing Site

Curiosity Landing Site
Curiosity Landing Site from HiRISE
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

The entire Curiosity Landing Site is shown in this image. Visible is the Sky Crane, the Parachute and Back Shell, The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the Heatshield (far right).

Below, Curiosity’s Heatshield in Flight:

Today, the MRO team located another object in this image — not present in prior images of the same region — which is the right size to be the rover’s heat shield. The heat shield was ejected from the rover and its back shell before this image was taken. The team thinks the heat shield is still in free flight, because, if it were to have already hit the surface, it would have kicked up a dust cloud. The HiRISE image of NASA’s Phoenix lander on its parachute also captured the heat shield in free fall. Other image products from the same observation are, or will be, at http://uahirise.org/releases/msl-descent.php .

Curiosity Heatshield
Curiosity Heatshield in Flight from HiRISE aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

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