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Astro0
HANDY TIPS

Throughout the various MSL threads, there has been a lot of noise generated by questions being asked and answered over and over again.
So we are going to try and compile here a lot of the frequently asked stuff, plus links to the abundant documents and websites that are available.

If you have a specific question or want clarification on something, then we highly recommend following these steps:

1) GOOGLE YOUR QUESTION FIRST!!!!!!
Too often people just don't bother with this easy process.
Try phrasing your question in a few words or just use some key words related to your query.
TIP: Look further than page 1. If you don't get the answer, try some other words.

2) GO TO THE MISSION WEBSITE
If Googling your question didn't already take you there, then just search around the MSL website.
There are plenty of pages with useful details and tons of documents available on both the NASA and JPL versions of the MSL website.
TIP: The NASA and JPL sites have Search capabilities built in.

3) READ BACK THROUGH THE THREAD THAT'S MOST RELEVANT
Members have been talking about MSL's mission for quite a while now and lots of information has been collected.
Read back through the thread in question and you'll most likely find the answer.
TIP: UMSF has a search capability and/or you can always search UMSF using Google.

IF AT THIS POINT YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR ANSWER, THEN POST THE QUESTION TO THE MOST APPROPRIATE THREAD.
Remember though that what UMSF is about is contributing information, rather than supplying it.
We are blessed to have a number of the mission team members as active contributors to the Forum.
While they are often happy to give their input, they are not here to support us, we are here to support them.

IMPORTANT NOTE
The UMSF Administration and Moderation team will be hard at work keeping an eye on all discussions.
If the Forum signal to noise ratio becomes an issue, we will not hesitate to delete posts, close topics or warn members for breaches.
Astro0
MSL FAQs AND USEFUL WEBSITES

Q: Where are the best places to find out information about Curiosity's mission?

Mars Science Laboratory websites: JPL website | Mission website | NASA-based website
MSL News and Resources: What's New | Newsroom
Social Media: Twitter | Facebook
Other Sources (pdf): MSL Fact Sheet | Launch Press Kit | Landing Press Kit | Video Archive

Q: Will there be a website where Curiosity's raw images will be available?
There's a page on Curiosity's website set aside for releasing raw images as they become available.

Q: Tell me more about Entry, Descent and Landing?
The Planetary Society Series: How Curiosity Will Land on Mars: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Mars Science Laboratory. Entry, Descent, and Landing System Overview
Mars Science Laboratory Telecommunications System Design

Q: What is Curiosity's mission all about?
MSL Science Corner: Science Goals
Curiosity's Broader Science Goals

Q: Tell me more about Gale Crater?
Gale Crater Geomorphology
Papers on the various proposed landing sites including Gale
Geologic mapping and characterization of Gale Crater

Q: What does Gale Crater look like?
HiRise images of Gale Crater
Digital Terrain Models (including Gale Crater)
More links to HiRise images of Gale Crater

Q: Where will Curiosity land in Gale Crater?
MSL Landing Ellipse

Q: What instruments will Curiosity use to explore?
MSL Science Corner: Instruments

Q: When will we see the first images?
Official word from MSL's chief press officer, Guy Webster, on July 23: "There's a chance of getting a front Hazcam thumbnail or two down in the first few minutes after touchdown. Don't promise it. The most likely time for getting the first image is during a downlink about two and a quarter hours after landing, from Odyssey's next overflight. That downlink may deliver a compressed full-frame rear Hazcam, which would be about eight times better resolution than the thumbnails. If no photos make it down in that pass, the next chance will be mid-day Monday, from Sol-1 morning passes possibly delivering hazcams and some MARDI thumbnails from Sol Zero."

Q: Other than Google, is there a good place to search for information on Curiosity?
A tip from member eoincampbell suggested the searchable JPL archive http://beacon.jpl.nasa.gov/searching-beacon
Using a phrase like 'Curiosity rover' brings up lots of related references, documents etc.

Q: Can you explain why they chose this landing site?
A detailed document has been released on the 'Selection of the Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site'.
It is available here as an 'abstract' but the full copy requires a subscription fee. Worth the read if you're interested!

More to come.
ElkGroveDan
HiRISE IMAGES OF GALE CRATER

Courtesy of RoverDriver for browsing the various HiRISE images of the Gale Crater landing site.

To simplify browsing the various HiRISE images I generatd a clickable HTML map. The small tarball [or zip file] (291699 bytes) will create a directory called browse-Gale on your machine and populate it with three files:
1) index.html: a clickable mosaic that will lead you to the HiRISE web site for the appropriate image. In this page you will find map, non-map, a link to the dtm, and information about the image as well as the other stereo image.
2) dtm-index.html: this is the same as 1) but it links to the HiRISE web site that contains the DTM and orthos. Please note that the DTM corresponding to ESP_024102_1755 does not exist (links to the image, just as in 1)
3) GaleMosaic.png: this is the support file for the clickable map.
A good interactive viewer for JP2 (JPEG2000) images is HiView
Astro0
MSL IMAGE RELEASES AND WEBSITES

NASA media release about MSL's images.

To view Curiosity's latest images, visit http://www.nasa.gov/ and http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/mult...ndexEvents.html .
Raw images will appear when available at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/raw/ .
Tesheiner
MSL EDL TIMELINE

A detailed EDL timeline in several timezones: http://www.spaceflight101.com/msl-edl-timeline.html
Astro0
MSL IMAGE RETRIEVAL TOOLS

Links from the Curiosity Image Retrieval Tools Thread.

Please note that we do not guarantee any of the programs listed.
They are links provided by or programs/website developed by members.
Please use them at your caution.


A shell script that allows you to download all images from a given sol - (link to download tool ) Available here

Curiosity RAW Get - (link to download tool) Available here

Star Downloader - (link to external website) Available here

Mars Ogler - (link to external website) Available here
Check out the 'grid' view in the menu options.

DownloadThemAll plugin for Firefox - (link to external website) Available here

Automatically updated RAW images online - (link to external website) Available here (link updated 4Jan'13 - Thanks Ludo)

A basic web interface listing images for a particular Sol - (link to external website) Available here

Web interface to the raw images - (link to external website) Available here
Astro0
MSL CAMERAS and INSTRUMENTS

A bunch of useful links to documents provided by member Winston.

The Mars Science Laboratory Engineering Cameras - PDF

THE MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY (MSL) NAVIGATION CAMERAS (NAVCAMS) - PDF

THE MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY (MSL) HAZARD AVOIDANCE CAMERAS (HAZCAMS) - PDF

THE MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY (MSL) MARS DESCENT IMAGER (MARDI) FLIGHT INSTRUMENT - PDF

THE MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY (MSL) MARS HAND LENS IMAGER (MAHLI) FLIGHT INSTRUMENT - PDF

MEDLI System Design Review Project Overview - PDF

Advances in Thermal Protection System Instrumentation for Atmospheric Entry Missions - Powerpoint

A relatively short but very interesting document about the engineering challenges of landing on Mars which discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the various possible methods - webpage

The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite - PDF

CHEMCAM official website - webpage
Astro0
MSL WEATHER REPORTS (REMS)

To follow the weather data from MSL, here's the link:
http://marsweather.com/

EDIT: Thanks to member Chris, here's a link to a document on the REMS instrument - PDF
Astro0
ADDING IMAGE CREDITS

A short discussion on one of the Forum threads suggested that members producing images/mosaics/artworks/films or other interpretations from MSL's raw/processed images, give some appropriate credit for the original sources.

Here are a few suggested formats for those willing to give credit where credit is due.

For images based on Front/Rear Hazcams and Left/Right Navcams: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ your name/handle

For Chem-Cam: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/ your name/handle

For MARDI, MAHLI, MastCam(s): NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/ your name/handle

or combinations of credits if compositions are made from several camera sources.
elakdawalla
IMAGE COPYRIGHT

The question of copyright comes up frequently, which is why I posted a page about it. The page includes suggested credit lines for all spacecraft cameras I could think of.

The short version: All NASA mission images are in public domain and copyright free. It is not required by law, but is considered proper and polite, to give credit to NASA, the NASA Center, and any academic institutions involved in managing the instrument. Once someone else has made a derivative work that substantially modifies the original (such as a mosaic), that person DOES hold copyright, and their permission must be sought for reuse.
Astro0
MSL TELECONFERENCES / MEDIA CONFERENCES

At chris' request...list generated by maschnitz...now sticky!

All the news conferences are archived on UStream:
http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl

Pointers to individual ones are on JPL's site:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/whatsnew/

Press conference visuals are usually found here:
http://go.nasa.gov/curiositytelecon which redirects to
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/telecon/index.html
and are archived here:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/images/index.html

Generally, the visuals show up archived either in the raws, the vetted "Images" section, in JPL's Photojournal, or in some combination of the three.
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/targetFam...ry+%28MSL%29%3A
Astro0
CURIOSITY NEWS FEED

A really useful (almost) daily account of Curiosity's journey.
http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/
Astro0
MASTCAM FILTER NUMBERING REFERENCE

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2012/pdf/2541.pdf has a table that shows the filter numbering for each Mastcam. If you see six grayscale images of the same scene, they are most likely ordered this way. If there are fewer than six, then you will have to do some guessing for the IR bands. (thanks mcaplinger for the link. thanks Greenish for the tip)
Astro0
PHOTOSHOP 'ACTION' - REMOVING MAHLI "SCHMUTZ"

Member Ed Truthan has created a handy Photoshop 'Action' to help remove the dust "schmutz" from MAHLI images.
http://www.edtruthan.com/mars/MAHLI-Dust-Off.zip

It's possible that there will be more schmutz in the future, but this is a good starting point at this time.
Astro0
CURIOSITY's DRIVE PATH ON A HiRise MAP

Member jmknapp has created an awesome webpage to help everyone follow Curiosity's journey.
It tracks the rover's movements and maps it onto a HiRise image of the terrain at Gale Crater
http://curiositymsl.com/track.jpg


The map updates at least daily.
Astro0
SEE WHERE CURIOSITY TOOK PHOTOS and IN WHICH DIRECTION ON A MAP

Member jmknapp has created another awesome webpage so you can see where each photo and in what direction Curiosity's cameras were looking when they were taken.
As at Dec.17, 2012, these only cover the MastCam and HazCam images. Just click the 'Map It' link near the image to be taken to the image and map page. Easily one of the best tools developed for keen MSL followers.

http://curiosityrover.com/

Updates automatically with each photo.
elakdawalla
SUMMARY OF THE PRIME MISSION AND PLANS FOR THE EXTENDED MISSION

The Mars Science Laboratory Extended Mission proposal has a detailed summary of what Curiosity accomplished during the prime mission and hopes to accomplish during the extended one, which they have called "Mission to Mt. Sharp: Habitability, Preservation of Organics, and Environmental Transitions."
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
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