Curiosity is back

    Almost a month has passed since the moment when Curiosity was hit by cosmic charged particles and entered safe mode. Most likely these were solar particles. because the same day, Opportunity had problems with the computer, but it got off easier, although it is regrettable that all the attention of the world was riveted on the curious “golden baby”, and the ailments of the Martian “veteran” went unnoticed. However, everything is already behind. Oppy completes the inspection of Matievich’s hill, and increasingly looks to the south, where it will go this summer, and Curiosity successfully switched to control of a second computer, stretched out his arm and set to work.

    Efficiency returned to him gradually.
    Two weeks ago, he sent the first photos for March.
    To my surprise, it turned out to be shots, still for zero sol, from the MARDI camera. That is, the one that shot at a frequency of 4 frames per second, the landing process from the moment of separation of the heat shield. In a few minutes she took about three and a half thousand frames. Forwarded turned out to be one of those that captured the key moment of landing - when the jet jets of Sky Crane hit the surface of Mars.

    The rover entered the landing at an angle, so one track from the jet is larger than the other.
    Full shooting of the landing process (sound not natural):

    The reason that the frames for zero sol arrived only on the 215th is because the flight from Earth to Mars and landing were carried out on computer “B”. While work on Mars, before damage to memory elements, was performed on computer “A”. That is, after the March "brain transplant", the rover found in his memory only a few old frames and sent them. On the same day he took some fresh photos with new cameras, but sent them only after a week.

    Here it is necessary to explain where he got the "new" cameras. Curiosity has a total of 17 cameras. 4 of them are colored: two mast MastCams, one on the MAHLI manipulator, one MARDI for shooting the landing. In the first seconds on Mars, MARDI was so dusty that now it is almost never used. ChemCam is a black-and-white camera-telescope equipped with a laser, it is used during spectrographic analyzes of surrounding rocks or if it becomes necessary to examine something in detail without using the manipulator or on the manipulator.

    The remaining cameras are used by engineers for orientation and control. Navigation NavCams are installed on the "head" of the rover.

    Four of their lenses can be seen on the sides of the rectangular MastCam eyepieces. NavCam are used in pair to get a stereo picture, according to which a special NASA program builds the landscape. This 3D model of Mars is used by Mars rovers to assess the terrain, plan and implement movement.

    To see in detail the surface under the wheels of the rover, HazCam hazard warning cameras are used. There are eight of them: four in front, four in the back.

    Now the whole secret is why cameras are shot in stereo, i.e. used in pairs, and they are installed in four pieces. The subtlety is that each of the two on-board computers of the rover controls its own set of cameras.

    Accordingly, each camera in its name carries a computer designation, for example, “FHAZ_LEFT_A” - “front, hazcam, left, A” - front HazCam, left, computer “A”.
    Since a new set of cameras is now being used, the “point of view” of the rover must change. The cameras have already been tested, so that we can assess how much Curiosity’s views on Mars have changed after the operation.

    In navigation cameras, vertical changes: The

    front hazard warning camera moves horizontally:

    The left wheel changes position due to the high sphericity of the lens. HazCam - almost fish.

    Rear hazard warning camera:

    As we see the most radical changes with the rear cameras - this is because they are not placed in one package, as in the front, but are separated by an RTG.

    After the first shooting at 215, the Sol rover went into sleep mode again due to an erroneous file, but stayed there only a couple of days. The bug was quickly revealed, and at 222 sol, Curiosity was already back to a full life.
    First of all, he moved the manipulator.

    This was done in order to check whether the information about his situation, which was loaded into it, corresponds exactly to the real state of affairs. After the warm-up, a panoramic survey of the area with navigation cameras was carried out (panorama at the beginning of the article).
    The next day, Curiosity sent color frames already, and again surprised - they turned out to be 200 sol.

    Large format and desktop:

    This was unexpected, but this is good news - it means the operators got to the files in the computer “A”, which he could not send because of the damage. That is, firstly: scientific data is not corrupted (or at least not all is corrupted), and secondly: access to the long-term memory of computer “A” has been restored and, most likely, the computer itself is again fully operational and will now act as a backup.

    And at 225 sol, Curiosity made new color shots, but not just taking pictures of the area, but the series that he usually accompanies the process of absorbing Martian soil with instruments in his body. This means that the study of interesting clay will be continued and it is possible to obtain any new scientific data or clarified existing ones.

    Here, lid covers were monitored before and after the sample was placed inside. Judging by the fact that not a grain of sand has been spilled, coordination has been restored perfectly.

    Sample processing will take several more days. And there is already a solar overlap just around the corner and Curiosity will begin independent life, at least for 3-4 weeks, like all Martian devices and one Venusian. Because of the Sun, the exchange of radio signals between the Earth, Mars and Venus will cease. Many devices have gone through this repeatedly, but Curiosity will be the first time. The overlap is repeated every 2 years.

    PS This material has been prepared on the basis of raw photomaterials posted on the JPL website. Curiosity Camera Layout Designed by Planetary Community EnthusiastsUSA, solar system animation created using Work on the text began before the publication of the official press release and from there I only found out that the samples were uploaded to the SAM.
    This is all I need: even if NASA seriously reduces the cost of popularizing its activities, we can do it on our own, the main thing is that the RAWs do not stop spreading, but I'm sure it will not come to that.

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