NASA releases picture of Martian surface...

The-planet-marsFinally… something good coming out of NASA…

The American Space Agency- recently mired by an endless stream of budget cuts, mission floundering, and an overall lack of vision (something that truthfully has been an issue with the Space Agency for decades now)- has produced a bit of cool space news this week as it released extremely clear images from the surface of Mars.

Said to be “… the next best thing to actually being there…” a high resolution panoramic image from the Mars Rover of the Martian surface has been released and it’s rather awe inspiring…

rover-pic

(For a higher resolution shot, click here…)

According to NASA:

This scene recorded from the mast-mounted color camera includes the rover's own solar arrays and deck in the foreground, mars-rover-2providing a sense of sitting on top of the rover and taking in the view. Its release this week coincides with two milestones: Opportunity completing its 3,000th Martian day on July 2, and NASA continuing past 15 years of robotic presence at Mars. Mars Pathfinder landed July 4, 1997. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter reached the planet while Pathfinder was still active, and Global Surveyor overlapped the active missions of the Mars Odyssey orbiter and Opportunity, both still in service…

… It is presented in false color to emphasize differences between materials in the scene. It was assembled from 817 component images taken between Dec. 21, 2011, and May 8, 2012, while Opportunity was stationed on an outcrop informally named "Greeley Haven," on a segment of the rim of ancient Endeavour Crater.

"The view provides rich geologic context for the detailed chemical and mineral work that the team did at Greeley Haven over the rover's fifth Martian winter, as well as a spectacularly detailed view of the largest impact crater that we've driven to yet with either rover over the course of the mission," said Jim Bell of Arizona State University, Tempe, Pancam lead scientist.

Space, the Final Frontier…

space-exploration

Shit like this makes NASA cool…

Not sending junior high science teachers into orbit or acting as an interstellar UPS for satellites (which, is all well and good, mind you.. without it I couldn’t listen to The Ron Fez Show, weekdays from 11-3)…

But exploring the Martian surface.

Boldly going where no Man has gone before…

That’s the stuff that will get people giving a shit about space.

Not Muslim outreach or any other such politically correct non-space mission…

Just space exploration.

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