Ballasts Hitting the Surface, Close-Up
Date: 8 Aug 2012
These before-and-after images show the effects of weights from the entry vehicle of NASA's Curiosity rover hitting the surface of Mars. These are enlarged images from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter taken on Aug. 1 and 7. Arrows show the locations of the impacts.
This linear cluster of dark disrupted ground is about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from the rover. The length of this cluster is about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer). There are six impact sites, one for each of the 55-pound (25-kilogram) tungsten Entry Ballast Masses.
The images were acquired by the Context Camera at a resolution of 20 feet (6 meters) per pixel but projected here at 16 feet (5 meters) per pixel.