Tuesday, September 18, 2012


How many cameras can we find on Curiosity rover, the wall-e like robot that is actually rooming around the surface of Mars? Let's find out.
The rover's mast features seven cameras: the Remote Micro Imager, part of the Chemistry and Camera suite; four black-and-white Navigation Cameras (two on the left and two on the right) and two color Mast Cameras (Mastcams). The left Mastcam has a 34-millimeter lens and the right Mastcam has a 100-millimeter lens. There is one camera on the end of a robotic arm that is stowed in this graphic; it is called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). There are nine cameras hard-mounted to the rover: two pairs of black-and-white Hazard Avoidance Cameras in the front, another two pair mounted to the rear of the rover, (dashed arrows in the graphic) and the color Mars Descent Imager (MARDI), for a grand total of seveteen cameras.
Despite this unbelieveble ammount of hardware, it' absolutely not easy to output such an ultra-resolution, smooth-motion, detail-enhanced, color-corrected, interpolated from the original 4 frames per second to 30 frames per second footage. This video took fours weeks in the production, and plays real-time at the speed that Curiosity descended to the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012. If we think about it, it's the first proper sci-fi movie from the red planet. 20th Century Fox better start bewarin of Nasa entertainment.

 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech, Bard Canning

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