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Highlight of the Month :

Our October 2011 Highlight of the Month features the planned landing site of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover "Curiosity" inside Gale crater (5.4° S, 137.9° E). The launch of MSL is set for 25 November 2011 with the landing planned for August 2012. The landing site is marked in the nadir mosaic. The mission goals are geological and mineralogical analyses of rocks and outcrops, however, more importantly, the search for building blocks of life (past or present) on the surface or at subsurface level. Gale crater has a diameter of 154 km. Gale's distinct central peak rises up to 5.5 km above the crater floor and consists of layered sediments. Aqueous sulfates and phyllosilicates (clay) were detected by spectrometers from orbit. This mineral diversity as well as good outcrop accessibility were key factors for choosing Gale crater as landing site.

The image mosaic consists of two orbits (5273 and 1916) with a resolution of 22 meters per pixel. The digital terrain model was processed with a resolution of 100 meters per pixel.

For further information about the MSL mission, the reader is referred to http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

Link to HRSCView:

The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) experiment on the ESA Mars Express Mission is led by the Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Dr. Gerhard Neukum who also designed the camera technically. The science team of the experiment consists of 40 Co-Investigators from 33 institutions and 10 nations. The camera was developed at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) under the leadership of the PI G. Neukum and built in cooperation with industrial partners (EADS Astrium, Lewicki Microelectronic GmbH and Jena-Optronik GmbH). The experiment on Mars Express is operated by the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, through ESA/ESOC. The systematic processing of the HRSC image data is carried out at DLR. The scenes shown here were created by the PI-group at the Institute for Geological Sciences of the Freie Universitaet Berlin.

hochaufgelöste Bilddaten / high resolution image data

© Copyright: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)


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