The ability of man never ceases to amaze: the display of Greek God-like athletic ability at the Olympics, or the impressive mental fortitude possessed even at the precipice of space. But those accomplishments are elementary compared to NASA’s Curiosity Rover touching down on the red planet on Monday.
As the shuttle descended upon the world after traveling 352 million miles across the perils of space, NASA’s HiRISE (High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera managed to capture the event and ping the photograph back to earth. I first saw the photo on a tiny smartphone screen when I got into work.
Details in the parachute such as the band gap at the edges and the central hole are clearly visible. The cords connecting the parachute to the backshell cannot be seen, although they were seen in the image of Phoenix descending, perhaps due to the difference in lighting angles.
We live in exciting times.