NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity may still be months away from making its landing, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until August to see something cool happen on the red planet. Let’s not forget that Opportunity is still up there and with a new app, you can receive pictures from the rover faster than we could ever report them to you.
According to Wired, the Mars Image App was developed by Mark Powell from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and will send you photos of its endeavors as soon as it downlinks them. The app is free for iPhone/iPad and Androids. Wired reports that a second app will be launched when Curiosity lands later this year as well.
Just this week, the course for Curiosity was adjusted in a three-hour maneuver, putting it on track toward Mars.
“We’re a big step closer to our entry point at the Martian atmosphere,” said Arthur Amador of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The course correction is the most important task Curiosity will perform during its 352-million-mile trip to Mars, but it’s not unprecedented. Previous robotic explorers have had to adjust their paths several times en route to landing.
So far, Curiosity has traveled more than 80 million miles at 10,200 mph. If Curiosity did not tweak its route this week or make the second, smaller adjustment scheduled for March, it would miss Mars altogether because it was initially not aimed at the planet. Engineers did this by design to prevent the upper stage of the rocket that launched the spacecraft from hitting Mars.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.