After a quiet few days Curiosity has now upgraded the software from flight programmes to the exploration programmes. And the images are coming back in
See the little joystick looking thing? Its main purpose is to calibrate the camera’s there’s four coloured blocks to calibrate the colour images and near the central column is a greyscale one.
“Following the successful landing of the Curiosity rover, it is gratifying indeed to see the third MarsDial© photometric calibration (cal) target on the planet Mars. It is something near and dear to me personally, and it’s good for all of us, because it helps us do good science.
As I’m sure you’re aware, geologists love rocks, and they especially love the rocks on Mars. The first thing they all want to know about a rock is what’s it made of. For that, it’s good to just take a look at the color of the rock surface. When everything is being done on the alien landscape of another world, it’s easy enough to electronically get the color wrong, or not quite right. To that end, artists, photographers, and a few scientists have noticed that by looking at the color of a shadow on a neutral white or gray background, you can infer the color contributed to the scene by the sky.”
It also has a second purpose, it’s also a sundial. It was the brainchild of popular Scientist Bill Nye (The Science guy)
There’s still plenty of checks to be carried out but fingers crossed that Curiosity will take its first steps next week with some basic checks.