Mars Curiosity Rover is sending back photos again


posted Monday, March 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM EDT

This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right B (FHAZ_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 223 (2013-03-23 02:59:22 UTC). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After a spate of technological problems lead to the Mars Rover going quiet for a brief spell, Curiosity is back in action, beaming photographs from the red planet to our own soil. But it's only for a few days, as before long transmission between Earth and Mars will need to be cut back due to the Sun getting in the way.

According to NBC's Photoblog, Curiosity's work on Mars has been delayed by a series of minor technical setbacks. There was a memory failure, the Rover was stood down during a solar storm, and then a computer glitch meant that it was put in safe mode. But now Curiosity is out of safe mode, and transmitting data and photographs from across the inky depths of space.

Unfortunately, we're about to dip into another dark spot for communication with the robot. For almost all of April, the Sun will be between Mars and the Earth, which could potentially degrade signals being sent between NASA and Curiosity. So from April 4 until May 1, the rover will receive no commands, but will continue to undertake its previous orders. Once that period is up, communication between the two planets will be revived, and information from Curiosity, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will start to head back.

In the meantime, you can catch the raw photographs from Mars on the official NASA site, or see edited pictures, like the one below from Ken Kremer and Marco Di Lorenzo at Unmanned Spaceflight.

Or if you want to see what it's really like to rove around Mars from Curiosity's perspective, check out this 360-degree, interactive, panorma experience.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Marco Di Lorenzo / Ken Kremer