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NASA Curiosity Rover Captures 1.8 Billion-Pixel Panorama

Panorama of Mars
Panorama of Mars | Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity rover studies climate and geology on Mars. Our m+p VibControl vibration control systems contributed to mission success: Qualification testing of the ChemCam (Chemistry & Camera) was done at Mecano ID in Toulouse/France. They performed comprehensive vibration tests using 48- to 80-channel m+p VibControl systems and a 70 kN shaker in a clean room class 100.000. For full qualification and acceptance testing of Curiosity's high-gain communication antenna, Airbus Defence & Space in Madrid/Spain used a 96-channel m+p VibControl system and a 90 kN shaker.

camera on shaker
Vibration testing of Curiosity rover’s ChemCam | Credit: Mecano ID, Toulouse

Recently, NASA released the largest and highest-resolution panorama photo the Curiosity rover has ever taken. It gives a hyper-realistic look at Mars. Composed of more than 1,000 images taken during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday and carefully assembled over the ensuing months, the composite contains 1.8 billion pixels of Martian landscape.

They were taken between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, when the mission team was out for the Thanksgiving holiday. Sitting still with few tasks to do while awaiting the team to return and provide its next commands, the rover had a rare chance to image its surroundings from the same vantage point several days in a row.

"While many on our team were at home enjoying turkey, Curiosity produced this feast for the eyes," said Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which leads the Curiosity rover mission. "This is the first time during the mission we've dedicated our operations to a stereo 360-degree panorama.“

Go on a tour of the rover’s view of the Martian surface with NASA’s project scientist Ashwin Vasavada.

To get the full experience, check out the original pictures via JPL here.

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