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Greetings From Mars

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In the morning hours of Aug. 6, as NASA's Curiosity rover fell to the surface of Mars, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured an image of the rover gliding on its parachute. The image was taken with the orbiter's High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. 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. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona//Rex Features via AP Images)

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Posted by FanSite on Aug 31st, 2012 and filed under Feature Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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