NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has once again revealed Mars as a real and dynamic world, in this case a world with wind. It captured a sequence of photos – shown in sequence below – of the parachute jettison by Curiosity, the newest rover on Mars. Curiosity used the chute during its dramatic landing on August 5-6, 2012. Now NASA has released seven images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – taken between August 12, 2012 and January 13, 2013 – showing Curiosity’s parachute shifting its shape at least twice in response to wind, as the chute lay on the Martian soil.
Space scientists used the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to acquire these images. They’ve used HiRISE to let us see many types of changes on Mars, which has been fascinating. Read more about this sequences of images from NASA.
HiRISE’s first image of Curiosity’s parachute, above, caught the spacecraft suspended from the chute during descent through the Martian atmosphere on August 5-6, 2012. Watch a good video about Curiosity’s dramatic landing here.
Bottom line: The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a series of images from its perch in orbit around Mars, showing the jettisoned parachute of the new Curiosity rover on Mars, flapping in the wind.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.