NASA sends rover on Martian Mountains
Pasadena, Calif. Curiosity, which is the biggest and advanced Mars rover has landed on the Red Planet. Wheighting a ton, the rover is hanging bu ropes from a rocket backpack. Sunday, the Martian rover landed on Mars, ending so the 36th week flight and now it’s time to start the investigation for the following couple of years.
The MSL (Mars Science Lab) succeded in every step of the way, carrying Curiosity, in one of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.
The area where NASA’s Curiosity rover will land on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT) has a geological diversity that scientists are eager to investigate, as seen in this false-color map based on data from NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.
” Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars. Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet. There it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life existed on Mars – or if the planet can sustain life in the future, ” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden. This is an amazing achievement made possible by a team of scientists and engineers for around the world and led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030’s and today’s landing marks a huge step towards achieving the target.
Curiosity landed at 10:32 p.m. Aug. 5, PDT, (1:32 a.m. EDT Aug. 6) near the foot of a mountain 3 miles high and with a diameter of 96 miles inside Gale Crater. During a nearly two-year prime mission, the Martian rover will investigate whether the region ever offered the proper condition s for developing microbial life.
” The Seven Minutes of Terror has turned into the Seven Minutes of Triumph,” said NASA Associated Administrator for Science John Grunsfeld. “Myimmense joy in the success of this mission is matched only by overwhelming pride I feel for the women and men of the mission’s team.”
Curiosity started revealing the first view of the Red Planet, a wide angle scene of rocky ground near the front of the rover. The scientists expect more images to be transmitted to Earth in the next several days as the mission blends its observations of the landing site with the activities to configure the rover for work and check the performance of its instruments and mechanisms.
” Our Curiosity is talking to us from the surface of Mars, ” said MSL Project Manager Peter The I singer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. ” The landing takes us past the most hazardous moments for this project, and begins a new and exciting mission to pursue its scientific objectives.”
Curiosity handles 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the other missions on Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Some of the tools are used for the first time as they are the first of their kind landing on Mars, as a laser- firing instrument for checking elemental composition of rocks from a distance. The rover will use also a drilling instrument and scoop at the end of its robotic arm to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover.