I think it’s time that we see the full version of Curiosity at Mt. Mercou
I know you have probably already seen Curiosity at Mont Mercou before, but hopefully you haven’t seen it quite like this. Unlike many of the others Mont Mercou panorama’s I have seen, this one aims to use as many of the original images as possible.
I did this by stitching together 60 images from MAHLI (MArs Hand Lens Imager) in Microsoft ICE. The stereographic projection seemed to work best for this image given how much of the full 360 degrees the 60 images take up. After that, I brought it into Photoshop for some curves and color editing. I know the sky doesn’t quite look right, and that’s because it isn’t. I only started using Photoshop about two weeks ago and any tips about filling in Martian skies will be much appreciated. You will also notice that there are areas chopped off of the edge; that was intentional. The full panorama was even bigger than this and the edges were all relatively low resolution and curvy because of the distortion needed to create a flat image out of what is essentially a photosphere. Since cutting off enough of the image to create a perfect rectangle took off way too much information for my liking, and because the original version was too big and didn’t look that good anyway, I decided to go with this hybrid approach. I know almost all space pictures are perfectly rectangular, but I’m happy with the result. Feel free to let me know what you think about this design choice.
All images taken on Sol 3070
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Edit: I know that the title says Mt., it’s supposed to say Mont
It’s amazing how corroded and broken the two nearest wheels are . How did they get so busted?
The wheels are made of a very thin (0.75mm/0.030in) aluminum skin supported by thicker “grousers” (ribs). The grousers are the structural members which support the rover on the ground and provide tractive force. The skin is there to keep the rover from sinking in loose sand.
Those tears started showing up about 15 months into the mission, and the tl;dr of it is that it’s metal fatigue. If you bend a paper clip back and forth, it’ll eventually break from fatigue at the bend. The same thing happened to the skin of the wheels. As the wheels rotated around loading and unloading, it flexed the metal causing fatigue on the skin until it eventually broke.
The result of those tears is that Curiosity isn’t as capable on loose sand as it was designed to be.
Perseverance’s wheels are designed more robustly as a result of this. The skin is almost a millimeter thicker, the chevron shaped grousers were replaced with gently curved ones, and there are 48 of them instead of 24.