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Who is the Photographer Behind Photos Shot by the Curiosity Rover on Mars?

curiosityphotographer

We’ve written a number of posts regarding the NASA Curiosity rover’s photography on Mars, but have you ever wondered who it is that “presses the shutter”? If you have, you’re not alone. The Planetary Society recently received the question as well, and has published an official explanation from NASA:

It would be nice if the pictures took themselves. But it takes a village, it seems, to get a picture taken on Mars […] for a single snap shot you might have the Geology Science Theme Group conceive and design it en masse; the PUL-1 plan it; the entire (on staff) Science Operations Working Group discuss it and include it in the daily plan, the PUL-2 actually write it, and the engineering uplink team review and approve it before the Ace hits the button to radiate it, with the sol’s command, bundle to the rover. That’s a group the size of a small village.

Camera operator Mark Lemmon also talks about how the team often goes to great lengths to nail lighting and composition. With so many resources drained into each photo, casual snapshots aren’t exactly Curiosity’s thing.

Who is the photographer behind Mars rover photos? Answer from Mark Lemmon [The Planetary Society]


 
  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.maniago Jonathan Maniago

    They should borrow somebody from NatGeo or something. Landscapes are nice, but the rover’s portfolio could benefit from a little variety. They say that the best examples of travel photography are usually those that include locals.

  • 9inchnail

    Are you kidding? Calling this guy a photographer? So is a mall security guard a photographer too if he takes a still shot surveillance footage? I know, we all wanna be artists and unique little snow flakes but come on, there is a line.

  • Jake

    Where’s the rover’s arm that it uses to take “selfies” for it’s “Mars Vactaion” Facebook album?

  • http://www.facebook.com/philiphan Philip Han

    I don’t think you know how to read, let me repost NASA’s explanation for you:

    “It would be nice if the pictures took themselves. But it takes a village, it seems, to get a picture taken on Mars […] for a single snap shot you might have the Geology Science Theme Group conceive and design it en masse; the PUL-1 plan it; the entire (on staff) Science Operations Working Group discuss it and include it in the daily plan, the PUL-2 actually write it, and the engineering uplink team review and approve it before the Ace hits the button to radiate it, with the sol’s command, bundle to the rover. That’s a group the size of a small village.”

  • Oskar?

    ”the best examples of travel photography are usually those that include locals.”
    +10!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/carin.basson Carin Basson

    They edit it out, since it needs to take multiple shots.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NormCooper Norm Cooper

    so if (when) a Martian comes over and grabs the camera and snaps some frames, who owns the rights?