HiRise has done it again.

The University of Arizona-led imaging team on the high-resolution camera that has been orbiting Mars since 2006, captured a photo of NASA’s latest success — the rover Curiosity payload descending toward the surface of Mars beneath its parachute.

The photo was planned months in advance, said Alfred McEwen of the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, who leads the imaging team.

“We rely on the engineers to calculate everything perfectly for us,” he said. “It’s just math. You just have to double and triple and quadruple-check everything.”

The image was relayed from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter about 1:30 a.m., McEwen said, to a joyful group of scientists at the image center on the UA campus.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.