Bits and Pieces...
Bits and Pieces...
ESP_028269_1755  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory was lowered to the Martian surface via the sky crane, a rocket propelled stage that used its rockets to gently deliver the rover to the surface. As soon as the rover touched the surface, explosive bolts triggered to released from it from its tethers.

The sky crane then tilted 45 degrees and flew away until it ran out of fuel, at which point it crashed onto the surface. The subimage shown here shows the sky crane's impact site, as the sky crane careened in roughly from the northwest. The impact disturbed the bright dust, revealing the darker rocky substrate. It was no light impact.

Possible pieces of the sky crane, appearing as small white dots within and at the end of the some of these dark streaks, are visible in the image and the zoomed-in version of the inset (arrows).

Written by: Eldar Noe

Oblique View of Mount Sharp in Gale Crater

This image was acquired 24 hours after MSL landed to locate the hardware on the surface.

The color strip didn't cover the hardware, but does provide a spectacular oblique view of the central mound or "Mount Sharp" (Aeolis Mons).

The viewing angle is 45 degrees, like looking out an airplane window. The subimage has been rotated 90 degrees to provide this perspective.

Written by: Alfred McEwen

Written by:   (5 September 2012)
Acquisition date
07 August 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
266.1 km (165.4 miles)

Original image scale range
36.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~110 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
51°, with the Sun about 39° above the horizon

Solar longitude
151.2°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  32.6°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (3561MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (1839MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (1565MB)
non-map           (1506MB)

IRB color
map projected  (506MB)
non-map           (791MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (920MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (941MB)

RGB color
non map           (757MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.