Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter used parachute flaps in the wind

Apr 03, 2013
Used Parachute on Mars Flaps in the Wind
This sequence of seven images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows wind-caused changes in the parachute of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft as the chute lay on the Martian ground during months after its use in safe landing of the Curiosity rover. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

(Phys.org) —Photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show how the parachute that helped NASA's Curiosity rover land on Mars last summer has subsequently changed its shape on the ground.

The images were obtained by the (HiRISE) camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Seven images taken by HiRISE between Aug. 12, 2012, and Jan. 13, 2013, show the used parachute shifting its shape at least twice in response to wind.

Researchers have used HiRISE to study many types of changes on Mars. Its first image of Curiosity's parachute, not included in this series, caught the spacecraft suspended from the chute during descent through the .

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project and Curiosity are managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Explore further: Life on Mars? Implications of a newly discovered mineral-rich structure

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User comments : 2

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VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2013
Astonishingly detailed photographs.

What a shame Republicans are doing their best to destroy NASA.
gwrede
not rated yet May 15, 2013
This must sound stupid, but looking at the flapping parachute made me glad. A feeling of joy. I hope it gives joy to others, too.