Alan Brown: was it a Billion dollars to send this to Mars? (vaguely remember this figure in a news broadcast.. might be a whole lot more. )
Great inovations and technical skills to get it there .. no doubt abut that. But you can't walk here on Earth in the daytime and feel 100% safe.
begs the question....
People shouldn't be fixated on the money. It is the motion of doing somthing, moving somthing, and getting the picture that should be celebrated. If it is too expensive it's the people who set the policies that make us all poor that are to blame. We are a pitiful society if we can't afford to move our minds and bodies to accomplish anything.
falconeyes: I think NASA made a mistake here: to publish an early image with poor quality, DPR would pick up upon and trolls would make any discussion 99% noise.
I think, with a lander project this expensive, stunning photography sent back from Mars is crucial for public acceptance.
I see that the quality is much worse than 2MP alone would explain. So, I guess they have problems with image quality (like dust, maybe from the landing or the current "weather") and what we see probably is an early test image.
So, they have to wait for better conditions and shoot a 16 image panorama which they can stitch into a stunning pano for the public. At that time, DPR should have reported, not now! But it is important that NASA is going to do this. I hope they are aware of this. I guess they are.
Last note: Of course, the conservative nature of space projects made them use an outdated camera technology. Which is sad. But I don't think it is limiting the quality of images we're going to see in the future.
Don't forget that those low res images need less storage space and can be sent much quicker. And their not exactly portraits their of dirt and hills somtimes kilometers away.
Biowizard: To those who are moaning that, for the US, $2.5bn is too much to send this incredible machine to Mars, I reply that this mission's costs pale compared to the $15bn that the UK has just spent to let people run around in circles for 2 weeks on a track. That's right: brilliant rocket science at 6 times less than the cost of a sports day.
This Mars mission is incredible, and of course they will be using older, proven, radiation-hardened tech rather than the latest-gee-whiz cameras that won't even work on Planet Earth for another 12 months, while Nikon corrects the firmware or Canon invents a better glue for its mirrors.
Stop whingeing, engage your brains, and open your minds to the incredible achievement that NASA's latest rover represents.
And consider: most of the electronics and hi-tech materials that make your latest gee-whiz toys work the way they do, WOULD NOT EVEN EXIST were it not for previous NASA missions.
Jeez, some of you guys just don't get it, do you?
Yes, it cost the price of a movie ticket. How many hundreds of billions did the last blockbuster gross.
ulfie: I wonder if Romney has any money stashed away on Mars...
yes, he wrote it all off, allowing him to make even more money.
gwales: Curiosity isn't on Mars to take pictures...
It may not be NASA's priority to take pictures, but if they don't they won't get money and support; not to mention the doubters and conspiricy theorists. Yea, 17 camera's is about right.
I bought my S100 in June and it starts out with 43xxxxxx... It's working ok after 5 or 6 shoots.