back to article NASA's spy sat snaps Curiosity rover burning tracks on Mars

Curiosity Rover has left a mark on Mars that is visible from space. The rover's maiden journey across the Red Planet has left tire tracks that have been photographed by the high resolution camera on NASA's Mars Reconaissance Orbiter. The snap released by NASA today shows where the tyres have scuffed the red surface dust off …

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  1. jai

    hypocrisy of the human race

    When Top Gear went to Africa and left tire tracks across the Makgadikgadi Pan, there was outcry and calls for the show to be taken off the air (again).

    But when NASA do it on another planet, why then that's all right then, because at least it's not our undisturbed scenery that's being irrevocably damaged is it?!?!

    Bunch of hypocrites the lot of us!!!

    1. Miek
      Trollface

      Re: hypocrisy of the human race

      I see your point, but, is it really avoidable?

      Top Gear is an entertainment show, whereas, the Curiosity Mission and those before it are furthering our knowledge of science rather than furthering our knowledge of Jeremy Clarkson's tastes and world views.

      ---

      Aside from that, @Wayland Sothcott 1 : http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1517034

      "Surely it's more nutty to believe this stuff without proper evidence." -- Well, here is a picture that NASA have taken depicting the track marks of a Rover they successfully placed on the surface of Mars at the beginning of August. Along with that, if you visit http://www.nasa.gov you can also find a wealth of information on the subject.

      Troll Icon is for Wayland not Jai ;)

      1. jai

        Re: hypocrisy of the human race

        Probably did it in Photoshop anyway! :)

      2. Arctic fox
        Trollface

        Re: "Jeremy Clarkson's tastes and world views."

        I entirely agree with your point regarding the Curiosity mission. However, please excuse me while I barf in response to Mr Clarkson's "tastes and world views". No offence intended towards you of course.

        1. JeffyPooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "Jeremy Clarkson's tastes and world views."

          Jeremy Clarkson is a living god. He's always right. About everything. Always.

          Disclaimer: the above may not be entirely accurate.

      3. itzman

        Re: hypocrisy of the human race

        And you think the curiosity mission isn't entertainment?

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: hypocrisy of the human race

          NASA has certainly done a great job of marketing it as such (since everything has to be marketed as entertainment these days) but no, it's not entertainment.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hypocrisy of the human race

        Hey at least it was a Rover and not a Land Rover. :P

        Did they manage to disable the brown-person targetting software in the laser? ;)

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: hypocrisy of the human race

      I'm sure that if the BBC had sent Jeremy Clarkson on a one-way trip to Mars people would have been happy to see him leave any tracks, and even donuts, that he wanted to.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hypocrisy of the human race

      I think I'm your only upvote here, mainly because I considered your post the tongue in cheek that it probably was.

      :)

  2. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    NASA - missing a trick here !

    How much do you think they could charge, to write a company logo, name, or marketing slogan on Mars ?

    Enough to fund the manned mission ?

    1. ZankerH

      Re: NASA - missing a trick here !

      Well, the Russians will be happy to draw you a pair of boobs on the Moon for free.

      http://www.universetoday.com/60142/did-you-know-russian-lunokhod-rovers-created-memorials-on-the-moon-honoring-women/

      1. Graham Marsden
        Coat

        Re: NASA - missing a trick here !

        " draw you a pair of boobs on the Moon"

        Nah, someone decided to see if the Lunar Rover could do doughnuts...

    2. ElectricFox
      Coat

      Re: NASA - missing a trick here !

      Something along the lines of:

      "This planet is patented by Apple"

      I know, I know it's Friday, I'm tired and I'll get my coat.

      'Grats to NASA for a genuine technological advancement!

      1. bastage42

        Re: NASA - missing a trick here !

        Well the first turn was an angle, but the second was clearly a rounded corner.

    3. Lord Voldemortgage
      Unhappy

      Re: NASA - missing a trick here !

      2000AD suggested lasered ads on the moon, um, about 30 years ago, probably.

      God I'm old.

      IIRC Otto Sump may have been one of the advertisers.

      Well, at least I am not that ugly.

      1. Zimmer
        FAIL

        Re: NASA - missing a trick here !

        2000AD suggested lasered ads on the moon, um, about 30 years ago, probably.

        God I'm old.

        Not OLD enough, evidently.

        You are several decades out for those adverts.

        Robert Heinlein, The Man Who sold The Moon (1950) , if I recall the short story correctly; (might not have been'lasers', though :) )

    4. PC Paul
      Thumb Up

      Re: NASA - missing a trick here !

      IIRC the tyre treads spell out 'JPL' in Morse code as it drives around anyway...

      A nice subtle touch.

  3. Nuno
    Go

    Why stop for tests?

    what will they do if they found some malfunction? take it to the mechanic?

    put it in the right place ASAP and then test it with the real subjects of the mission...

    GO, as opposite for STOP...

    1. Ru

      Re: Why stop for tests?

      Cos there's no rush, and it is nice to eliminate as many variables as possible?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why stop for tests?

      because its a scientific mission and not a entertainment show for would be space nerds.

    3. Yet Another Commentard

      Re: Why stop for tests?

      At a guess if they found a problem it would be over to the duplicate on earth, try to replicate the problem, and then work out how to fix it, or what can be done with things in a less than optimal state. So with this gravity calculation stuff on the boom, if it's wrong, rewrite the software, bung an update across, try again etc.

      Better to know now there's an issue than halfway through some actual test which could damage the science. Quite why here and not over to the right I could not answer.

    4. Blain Hamon
      Boffin

      Patience young grasshopper.

      > what will they do if they found some malfunction?

      They could possibly figure out a way to get the rover to fix itself, find some way to compensate for a failing, or at the very least know NOT to use that tool and risk further damage. I know we're all in a 'It's already been a month. Why is it taking so long?' mood, but slow and methodical is the way to do this.

      This sort of design is why Voyager 1 is still sending back information, some of it very interesting as it approaches interstellar space (17.8 terameters away), some 35 years after its launch. Most of us, including myself, would be absolutely ecstatic if our one-off kit survived just half that without maintenance.

      1. Mr Temporary Handle

        Re: Patience young grasshopper.

        "This sort of design is why Voyager 1 is still sending back information, some of it very interesting as it approaches interstellar space (17.8 terameters away), some 35 years after its launch. Most of us, including myself, would be absolutely ecstatic if our one-off kit survived just half that without maintenance."

        ---

        Oh yes indeed!

        I'm quite happy if the systems we build last out the during of the original contract. ie. Long enough to cover their cost.

        Somehow, dust and other less identifiable material accumulating inside the case seems quite mundane compared to continual bombardment from charged particles, electro-magnetic radiation and micro-metorites.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks to me more like the driver should be breathalysed...

  5. Herby

    How hard can it be?

    Look, if you ARE going to take pictures, get a sponsor. I'm sure that any fruity company would pay BIG BUX (that's a technical term). to have their logo done as tire tracks in the Martian dirt. Maybe JPL's budget for computers (they use the fruity kind) would be greatly enhanced.

    You never know!

  6. twolegs
    Flame

    Wot no climate change?

    Waiting for usual climate change 'sparks':

    a) environmental damage to pristine natural landscape ( equiv on earth, wind-turbines)

    b) dust emissions added to pristine 'naturally dusty' atmosphere (butterfly effect? wait for the hurricane!)

    c) laser ablation of rock and mineral samples will cause chemical changes to the 'local' environment

    d)climate change due to the combined effects above.

    anyone notice the more we dump on mars, the heavier it gets (and the lighter, faster spinning mother earth is)?

  7. Wombling_Free
    Meh

    Look, I love NASA and all, but...

    the first thing that wen through my head when I saw those pics was:

    "Great. More bloody 4WDs (yes, it has 6, I know) fucking up another planet"

    Sorry, I know it's spiteful, and yes exploration is important, but I side with Ann Clayborne on this one.

  8. dajames Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Eh, what?

    So, the "tyres" of the rover left "tire tracks"?

    I suppose the people responsible for editing and proof-reading have already gone home for the weekend.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they get this resolution where the rover is

    Then why can't they obtain/publish the same level of resolution and detail of the infamous Cydonia region.

    It'd sort out the arguments either way!

    1. Disintegrationnotallowed

      Re: If they get this resolution where the rover is

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mars_face.png

      conclusive enough?

      I remember studying this as part of my Degree thesis "Is there life on Mars?" back in 1995, before the latest images came to life

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