The response to HiWish has been incredible! We’ve had well over one hundred target suggestions from the public since launch. Here are some more questions and answers that will go in our FAQ.
What are some strategies to improve my suggestion’s chances?
First, make sure you justify the image in terms of small-scale features that might be seen, things like boulders or thin layers or dunes, not giant volcanoes or channels. We need to know how HiRISE’s meter-scale resolution is necessary, especially if there are existing MOC, CTX, HSRC or other images of the area.
Second, choose an appropriate science theme. There are one-sentence descriptions below the map, and detailed descriptions via clicking on the science theme name.
Third, choose a location on Mars that isn’t very popular—avoid regions with lots of other suggestions. Other suggestions are shown with white markers (when you are zoomed in on the map).
How long might it take for my image to be taken and released?
This is very difficult to predict. First, there’s the caveat that we can’t guarantee that we’ll get to it. It depends on how highly a Science Theme Lead prioritizes it. They look at suggestions on a monthly basis. Uplink, downlink and validation are a matter of weeks. And, our PDS releases occur on a monthly basis. So in the absolute best case, it is a matter of months. Remember that you are competing against other suggestions and for the STL’s prioritization.