12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
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
Zeroing in on Rover's Landing SiteThe red "X" marks the spot where NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars. Early estimates made immediately after the rover landed (green diamond) indicated the rover touched down about one-and-a-half miles (2.4 kilometers) from the point it was targeting, to the left and out of sight on this graphic. This is well within the targeted landing region, called the landing ellipse, marked by the light blue line. Later after landing, images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (not shown here) were able to pinpoint the rover's precise location, as shown by the red "X."
Before landing, the mission team had also made predictions about where six entry ballast masses released from the descending spacecraft would land, as indicated by the dark blue landing ellipse and six dots. These weights, which are made of a heavy metal called tungsten, were released to straighten the descending spacecraft out from the tilted position it needed to ride through the atmosphere.
The overlaid black-and-white picture shows the actual landing positions of the ballasts, as indicated by the dark scour marks they left on the surface. Arrows indicate the locations. That picture was taken by the Context Camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The background color image is from MRO.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech