posted on Aug, 6 2012 @ 09:16 AM
Originally posted by LiberalSceptic
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
You are talking about the entire startup of the rover.
I am saying that there is a low-res camera in the beginning for a reason.
If they placed a high-res camera where the low-res is, we would have better picture in the beginning. They chose not to for different
It's also not unreasonable to have the main hi-res camera folded away for safety during landing. The fixed-mounted haz-cams are naturally protected
due to there location on the Rover, but because of that protection, they can't take sweeping panoramas. If you put the highest-res camera where the
hazcams are, the world would never get a good view of Mars.
It should be noted that the size of that picture was NOT just a function of the camera. the first image taken is actually a higher-resolution than
the thumbnails that were transmitted four minutes after landing. The reason only the low-res thumbnail versions were transmitted had to do with the
limits of the communication time and bandwidth.
The Landing site was on the side of Mars that was facing away from earth at the time -- it has no line-of-site with Earth. That means that the Rover
can't send data directly to earth, but must first send that data to an orbiting satellite (The mars Odyssey Orbiter, which has been in orbit since
2001), and then that satellite, which DOES have a line-of-sight to earth, relayed the data back to earth.
The problem was that the Mars Odyssey wasn't going to be in position to receive data from Curiosity for very long -- even the four minutes was pushing
the contact time. Therefore, due to limited bandwidth/upload rates, Curiosity only sent those small thumbnails in order to show some sign that
everything is OK with its landing site.
More images will be sent today, but the higher resolution images take a while to download due to bandwidth limitations -- i.e., the higher resolution
versions of those first thumbnail images don't download in a couple minutes.
...by the way, those big beautiful panoramic picture you are used to seeing in the news and online are a mosaic made up of dozens of smaller images.
So, even if the hi-res MastCam was operational four minutes after landing, the first picture from it would not be a panorama. NASA takes a bunch of
small pictures, then stitches them together for the big pictures the public usually sees (although the smaller raw images are still publicly
available, but some people ignore them because they are small images that some find boring).
edit on 8/6/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)