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The Penny (One-Cent Coin) Sent to Mars

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posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 02:43 PM
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The newest Mars Rover (Curiosity) that is currently on its way to Mars is carrying a one-cent coin -- a penny -- with it. The penny will be used to act as a calibration tool for the "Mars Hand Lens Imager", or MAHLI, which is a camera that will be used to take close-up images of items Curiosity may encounter. The term "Hand Lens" refers to geologists' practice of carrying a hand lens for close-up looks of rocks they find in the field.




The penny may serve an actual purpose, but just like the use of the term "hand lens" to describe the close-up camera, the use of this penny seems also to be a playful "nod" to other geologist field practices, as mentioned in this excerpt from the source article:


"When a geologist takes pictures of rock outcrops she is studying, she wants an object of known scale in the photographs," said MAHLI Principal Investigator Ken Edgett, of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. "If it is a whole cliff face, she'll ask a person to stand in the shot. If it is a view from a meter or so away, she might use a rock hammer. If it is a close-up, as the MAHLI can take, she might pull something small out of her pocket. Like a penny."...

..."The penny is on the MAHLI calibration target as a tip of the hat to geologists' informal practice of placing a coin or other object of known scale in their photographs. A more formal practice is to use an object with scale marked in millimeters, centimeters or meters," Edgett said. "Of course, this penny can't be moved around and placed in MAHLI images; it stays affixed to the rover."


So while this penny can't actually be laid beside the object being photographed like a geologist would in the field, it can still serve as a calibration tool. However, considering they are also using an actual graduated scale for size comparison and calibration, it seems that the penny is mostly being used to help engage the public in the mission. It humanizes the mission to some extent.


Source articles:
Mars-Bound NASA Rover Carries Coin For Camera Checkup
Contact Instrument Calibration Targets on Mars Rover Curiosity



edit on 2/8/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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The penny is a 1909 vintage. Yes, Lincoln was indeed on a 1909 penny, just not on the back, I myself had a 1902 penny I actually found on a sidewalk. I wonder what significance that year has?




posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by Illustronic
The penny is a 1909 vintage. Yes, Lincoln was indeed on a 1909 penny, just not on the back, I myself had a 1902 penny I actually found on a sidewalk. I wonder what significance that year has?



Its the first year the Lincoln Wheat Penny was minted, for starters.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 



The penny is a 1909 vintage.

...... I wonder what significance that year has? \



I found this, because it was an interesting question you posed:

Wikipedia


The cent's symbol is ¢. Its obverse has featured the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of his birth.


At first I thought that the year 1909 may have been significant as to the metal content, but need to see more research to be certain.

"In for a penny, in for a pound"...(as the saying goes)....



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 04:38 PM
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Cheap B@$tards. Couldn't they at least send the martians enough for a cup of coffee. (probably gonna be a Starbucks there sooner rather than later the way those stores are spreading like a virus!)



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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Wow, I've been missing that 02 penny for so long forgot Lincoln wasn't on it.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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It's probably some freedom propaganda through a monetary system





posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 11:32 PM
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... and then the fleet of evil aliens, on their way to conquer the planet Earth, finally reached mars and upon seeing the strange device sitting on the martian surface, thought "The Humans have made it here? Let us investigate." and as they approached the motionless contraption, one of them glanced towards the front panel. "There is some circular object placed here. I will get it for you sir." he stated with authority. And as he grabbed the penny from it's encasing, he read "In God we trust." -- and in a fleeting moment of terror, the aliens vanished into thin air, as they came to the realization that they did not actually exist...



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 01:58 AM
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Some observations....

If you look at all the coins on the presidential side, Abe Lincoln is the only one looking the opposite direction. Some have suggested its because of the assassination but I haven't found anything to corroborate that.

Secondly how long do you think it will take for people to start reporting a penny was found on Mars and suggest time travel or a mars base the government is hiding?

On topic cool article...



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
Some observations....

If you look at all the coins on the presidential side, Abe Lincoln is the only one looking the opposite direction. Some have suggested its because of the assassination but I haven't found anything to corroborate that...


Interesting...but Kennedy was also assassinated and is facing the toward the left on the half-dollar coin.


edit on 2/9/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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Also, as mentioned in the article I linked in the OP, there is a cartoon character who is also hitching a ride to Mars -- "Joe The Martian" (pictured below)



From what I could gather about this carton character, Dr. Ken Edgett (who is a Mars geologist and the Lead Investigator for the MAHLI Camera on The Curiosity Rover) created this cartoon character when he was in 4th grade -- a time when he was becoming interested in space exploration. He works (worked?) for Mailn Space Science Systems, the manufacturer of Curiosity's MAHLI camera.

Besides his work on the Curiosity Rover, Dr. Edgett is actively involved with the Arizona Mars K-12 Education program, a program which tries to get school kids interested in Mars exploration. He uses this cartoon character as part of this children's program. He has written children's books about Mars exploration.

He was one of the scientists responsible for the assertion in 2000 that there was geological evidence of recent groundwater seepage on Mars:
Evidence for Recent Groundwater Seepage and Surface Runoff on Mars

...and that water runoff may be responsible for the dark streaks seen running down the side of a crater in 2006 may be signs that water still occasionally flows on Mars.:
Mars Has Liquid Water, New Photos Suggest


edit on 2/9/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 10:41 AM
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I found an article that further explains "Joe Martian" cartoon character that is on board the Curiosity Rover headed to Mars (scroll down towards the end of the article), along with a better image of the cartoon drawing, plus additional details about the inclusion of the penny.

This article goes on to explain how Dr. Ken Edgett -- one of NASA's lead investigators for Curiosity -- created the cartoon character when he was in grade school, partly because of his interest over the Viking Mars lander mission of the 1970s:

Joe was created earlier, as a part of Edgett's schoolwork when he was 9 years old and NASA's Viking missions, launched in 1975, inspired him to dream of becoming a Mars researcher.


As I said before, the "Joe Martian" and the penny could be used for camera calibration purposes, but there are other calibration tools on board for that. For the most part the cartoon and the penny are there for public relations purposes; an attempt to humanize the project and get the general public -- including children -- engaged in the mission.

Here's a better picture (from the article) of the "Joe Martian" on board Curiosity, and a link to the article:



Link to Source:
Penny payload: NASA Mars rover Curiosity carries coin for camera checkup



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People

Originally posted by Xcathdra
Some observations....

If you look at all the coins on the presidential side, Abe Lincoln is the only one looking the opposite direction. Some have suggested its because of the assassination but I haven't found anything to corroborate that...


Interesting...but Kennedy was also assassinated and is facing the toward the left on the half-dollar coin.


edit on 2/9/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)


Lincolns assasination is the only one confirmed and accepted to have occured behind him. Kennedys assasinations till has some questions as to where the shooter was
So stop throwing down facts that destroy the assassination humor

edit on 11-2-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


"Joe Martian" is realz, I tellz ya!!!

I knoewz it!

Reallyz......honest. Juzt wait, Hoomanz!!

You will all be surprized, zoon!!!


Mya...Ha, Ha, Ha!!!!



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