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Mike Ravine, Advanced Projects Manager for Malin Space Science Systems  (Source: torynfarr/flickr)

A two-image panorama shot with the rover's 1024 x 1024 mono navigation cameras  (Source: NASA)
Reasons included the amount of data produced, the fact that they had to meet the needs of different cameras, and the team's familiarity with these sensors

NASA recently accomplished a huge feat by landing its Mars rover Curiosity on the Red Planet, but one of the questions on the minds of many was why such a sophisticated machine used 2 MP cameras.
Mike Ravine, a project manager from Malin Space Science Systems, was happy to answer that in an interview with Digital Photography Review. He said the main reasons for using 2 MP sensors in the cameras were the amount of data produced, the fact that they had to meet the needs of different cameras, and the team's familiarity with these sensors.
"There's a popular belief that projects like this are going to be very advanced, but there are things that mitigate against that," said Ravine. "These designs were proposed in 2004, and you don't get to propose one specification then go off and develop something else. Two MP with 8 GB of flash didn't sound too bad in 2004. But it doesn't compare well to what you get in an iPhone today."
The amount of data produced is a large reason for using 2 MP cameras. There just isn't enough bandwidth for anything more powerful because the cameras must share with other instruments. Curiosity sends data back to Earth via the UHF transmitter, which transmits to two spacecraft orbiting Mars. The data is then sent back to Earth, and this system only allows for 250 megabits per day to be shared amongst various instruments.
The 2 MP camera sensors also were the tools of choice for the use of four different cameras, including the MAHLI, MARDI and two Mastcams. Having four different sensors for each camera would be expensive and more difficult to maintain rather than having one type of sensor all across the board. 
The team's familiarity with the sensors was crucial, too. The team knew the behavior of Truesense imaging chips and Kodak's KAI-2020 chip, so it makes sense that they'd work with what they know. 
"We know how to clock them and drive them," said Ravine. "They're a very easy CCD to drive."
Other issues, like the low pixel count, are not an issue either since the two Mastcams will create images from multiple exposures. 
NASA rover Curiosity landed successfully on Mars earlier this week after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida on November 26, 2011. Curiosity is a one-ton, nuclear-powered, Mini Cooper-sized science laboratory that will explore the Martian surface for the next two years. 

Source: Digital Photography Review

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RE: so..
By Manch on 8/10/2012 2:14:08 AM , Rating: -1
But you would still be a sick bastard for trying.

RE: so..
By wordsworm on 8/10/2012 12:35:18 PM , Rating: 3
You want sick? In Canada, a 12 year old can have sex with a 10 year old. Age of consent in Canada is 16 for vanilla sex, and 18 for the back door.

In any case, I was ready for sex when I was 14, so you'll have to forgive me for being a little less prudish than you.

RE: so..
By mindless1 on 8/10/2012 12:55:38 PM , Rating: 5
You must live in a sexually repressed society. Throughout history, it was quite normal for older men to mate with younger women and today girls mature into women at a younger age than ever.

The key concept is mutualism. Some women want to sleep with older men and some don't. Why should there be a double standard, lots of 18 yo guys would like to sleep with somewhat older women?

I don't think wanting to sleep with a younger woman is sick at all, that's a logical and natural thing as younger women are biologically better suited for child bearing. The sickness to me is your society imposed judgement. Respect other people's free will choices so long as they're not against the law.

RE: so..
By kattanna on 8/10/2012 1:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
Respect other people's free will choices so long as they're not against the law.

LOL.. why you be expecting others to think before they act?


RE: so..
By WalksTheWalk on 8/10/2012 5:45:50 PM , Rating: 2
As a society we've deemed the age of consent to be 18. People under that age are classified as not having the capability sound decisions which is why it's a crime for an adult to have sex with a minor. Many studies back this up, where teenage brains are still under development and they have a more difficult time making judgements with forethought to the consequences.

All it takes is for some lecherous twenty/thirty/forty/etc. something men to go after abused teens looking to abuse them more. Sure, it would be mutual, but it's still illegal.

RE: so..
By mindless1 on 8/11/2012 5:16:34 AM , Rating: 4
Don't really agree with that. A screwed up 17 yo is still screwed up at 18. The factor isn't age, and the only real reason why 18 yo is more capable is having (hopefully) graduated high school. Otherwise we could say more capable at 21 than 20, more capable at 22 than 21, etc. There's nothing magic about the number and it can't be reasonably applied to any one person, except our society is incapable of rational discussion about sexuality so an arbitrary standard was set.

Studies don't mean squat, one could easily be crafted that shows the only reason a teenager is less capable is the lower expectations we put on them and the less responsibility we give them.

You have to concede that many 16 yo are more mature than an abused 20 yo? Age wasn't really the factor, that screwed up 20 yo is arguably no better off finding someone her own age that perpetuates the cycle of abuse.

Don't get me wrong, ideally one's mate would be the same age but ideals go out the window when we don't live in an ideal society and age is the least of the concerns.

The only real development teen brains need is dealing with the complexities of our screwed up society, NOT sexuality. The average 18 yo has already been sexually active.

You are part of the problem, suggesting a stereotype that someone would be lecherous if older and must be prowling after abused teens. There's also normal people who find the age of their mate matters less than other qualities about them. I did not mean to accentuate sex with minors though, my reply was made after it was pointed out that age of consent in some places is under 18.

You seem to be suggesting it is unsound to have sex as if you are demonizing it. It's natural, normal, and healthy. Perhaps we should focus on unwanted pregnancy instead which is another topic. Fortunately our screwed up society also has birth control methods.

RE: so..
By WalksTheWalk on 8/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: so..
By Samus on 8/11/2012 1:41:59 AM , Rating: 3
Although it isn't my thing (and I have a wife and baby daughter) I still believe prostitution should be legal. Like many black market activity, it's going to exist no matter what, and if legalized, it will become safer, keep people needlessly out of jail, and the quality will improve (think prohibition, drug use, etc.)

In countries where prostitution has been legalized, rape has been decreased so much that even the arguement that rapes aren't reported as much as they occur doesn't outweigh the huge margin of difference in countries that still ban prostitution. Furthermore, countries with legal prostitution have superior public health services (partly paid for by tax revenue from the business being 'on the books) and the increase in tourism is obviously another added benifit.

In countries where marijuana is legal or decriminalized, the prison systems have anywhere from an order of magnitude to 10 orders of magnitude less inmates. Imagine the reduced backpressure on the legal system as a whole from this very fact.

This country (the United States) is still the very best country in the world, but it is still very broken, and the sad thing is, many of the things that are broken are easily fixed, except the political system that keeps things broken.

RE: so..
By Ammohunt on 8/13/2012 3:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
In countries where marijuana is legal or decriminalized, the prison systems have anywhere from an order of magnitude to 10 orders of magnitude less inmates. Imagine the reduced backpressure on the legal system as a whole from this very fact.

The downside is that in those same countries the stored can't keep Doritos in stock and they have a surplus of soap; oh that no shortage of occupy protesters.

RE: so..
By Manch on 8/13/12, Rating: 0
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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