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Until now, images from the surface of Mars, while always breathtaking, have never come with the sense of immediacy of actually being there: The shots were either too obviously the result of technical processing - e.g., black-and-white shots, fish-eye effects, various unnatural color filters or contrast manipulations, etc. - or else too much like professional portraiture with everything all nice, neat, and vivid.  But in the past few days it has all come home: The images I present below are so natural, mundane, and contextual that one can't help realizing on a visceral level that they are from a real place, and they look as if a human being were staring at them through a window or an unpolarized faceplate.  I now know at the base of my spine, and not just in my mind, that we are going there.

Stare at the first one for a while: That's not some exhibit in front of a set-piece background, that's a piece of human technology on another planet - exactly as it would look if you were standing next to it fixing it with the tan-gray Martian sky in the background:

mars-curiosity-rover-mastcam-1600

mars-rover-curiosity-wheels-mount-sharp

mars-rover-curiosity-arm-sealed

mars-rover-curiosity-belly-check

mars-rover-curiosity-arm-calibration

Originally posted to Troubadour on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 02:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Astro Kos, SciTech, and Kossacks on Mars.

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