Originally posted by DJW001
UPDATE: A camera will be deployed during the final moments of the descent phase:
As the heat shield separates, the Mars Descent Imager begins recording video, looking in the direction the
spacecraft is flying. The imager records continuously from then through the landing. The rover, with its
descent-stage “rocket backpack,” is still attached to the back shell on the parachute. The terminal descent
sensor, a radar system mounted on the descent stage, begins collecting data about velocity and altitude
Unfortunately, it does not appear that it will be broadcasting live.
Pictures from any rover is rarely (if ever) broadcast in real time. The image information is first sent to an orbiting satellite (either Mars Odyssey
or The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) and those orbiters hold that image information until being in a position to send it back to Earth.
Images and video require a lot of memory, and I don't think the bandwidth is enough to view live videos. It usually takes a long time to download
images, let alone video. Telemetry data requires less bandwidth, so that telemetry will be in real time...
...However, that was almost not the case. There was a problem with the relay satellite (the Mars Odyssey Orbiter) that threatened to have the relay
satellite in the wrong position to send live telemetry of the landing. As I said above, Curiosity does not send data straight to earth, but first
sends it to satellites orbiting Mars. Due to a problem, The Mars Odyssey satellite was in danger of not being withing the line-of-sight of Earth
during the landing, (although in the line-of-sight of the lander itself). Line-of-sight is required to be able to transmit information. If they
didn't fix the problem with Mars Odyssey, then Mars Odyssey would have held on to the landing telemetry of Curiosity for several minutes until the
satellite moved into position to be able to send the info back to earth.
However, a couple weeks ago, Mars Odyssey's problem was fixed, and the satellite is now in position to send back live landing telemetry data ("Live"
not counting the 13 minute speed of light lag time). Even with Mars Odyssey in the right position, bandwidth limitations would not allow real-time
I'm sure we will eventually see the descent imager video (I think it's at 6 fps), but not right away. Even if it is only a couple of minutes of
video, that video may take considerably longer to download.
edit on 8/3/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)