10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
11.11.2015 Thick, Dark Veins at 'Garden City,' Mars
11.11.2015 Dark, Thin Fracture-Filling Material
10.08.2015 Secrets of 'Hidden Valley' on Mars
10.08.2015 Strata at Base of Mount Sharp
10.02.2015 Mount Sharp Comes In Sharply
Camera Test on Curiosity During Flight to MarsAn in-flight camera check on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft turned on illumination sources that are part of the Curiosity rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument. This is the resulting image from the MAHLI camera, confirming the health of the camera and the instrument's visible-light LEDs (light emitting diodes). The test did not use the camera's focusing mechanism, which remains in a "launch lock" position to protect it during the spacecraft's descent and landing at Mars.
Blue-green dots in the right half of the image are reflections of the LEDs. Cabling and a cable bracket on the rover's arm, seen out-of-focus, are illuminated by MAHLI's LEDs in the left half of the image. During the flight to Mars, Curiosity is encapsulated within an aeroshell that will protect it during the descent through Mars' atmosphere. Other camera tests during the flight have confirmed electrically that cameras are operating, but have been taken in total darkness, yielding no visible images.
MAHLI is one of the tools on a turret at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. It is an adjustable-focus, color camera to be used on Mars for close-up examination of Martian rocks and soils, and for other imaging from various positions of the arm.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission launched on Nov. 26, 2011, and will deliver the rover Curiosity to Gale Crater on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, Universal Time and EDT (night of Aug. 5, PDT). With MAHLI and nine other science instruments, Curiosity will investigate whether the area has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, supplied MAHLI and three other cameras for the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington, and built Curiosity.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems