Len Augsburger writes:
Am I the only person who didn't know there was a 1909 Lincoln cent on Mars??
Well, we did cover this in an earlier E-Sylum issue (February 12, 2012), in an article forwarded by Dick Johnson. The Curiosity had been launched toward the Red Planet the previous November. But now that it has arrived at its destination and is sending pictures back,
news coverage has resurfaced. Len, Dick Hanscom, Philip Mernick and others have forwarded articles about it. So here's an excerpt from the article Len found which includes a great photo of the cent today, covered in a layer of Martian dust. Thanks!
Engineers testing the Curiosity Mars rover are wrapping up a series of robot arm calibration and motion tests before resuming a slow trek toward a nearby rock formation this weekend, on the lookout for a suitable stone to reach out and touch in an initial round of "contact science," officials said today.
NASA unveiled striking new photographs Wednesday, including a panorama shot by the MAHLI camera at near ground level showing the undercarriage of the rover with its eventual target -- Mount Sharp -- rising in the background. Other photos showed covers opening and closing on the rover's upper deck exposing inlets where soil samples eventually will be deposited into a sophisticated analytical instrument.
The Curiosity Cents, Before and After
The MAHLI camera also captured an extreme closeup view of a 1909 penny that serves as a calibration target. Tiny dust grains blown up onto the spacecraft by its landing rockets are clearly visible. The resolution of the closeup image is 25 microns per pixel. If the camera can be positioned close enough to a potential target, that resolution could improve to 14 microns per pixel.
To read the complete article, see:
Robot arm in good shape, Mars rover set to resume trek
To read a NASA page sent by Philip Mernick, see:
Lincoln Penny on Mars in Camera's Calibration Target
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
IS A 1909 VDB LINCOLN CENT GOING TO MARS?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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