NASA/JPL: Curiosity's Summer Road Trip Has Begun

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 20647
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

NASA/JPL: Curiosity's Summer Road Trip Has Begun

Post by bystander » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:05 pm

Curiosity's Summer Road Trip Has Begun
NASA | JPL-Caltech | MSL Curiosity | 2020 Jul 06
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has started a road trip that will continue through the summer across roughly a mile (1.6 kilometers) of terrain. By trip's end, the rover will be able to ascend to the next section of the 3-mile-tall Martian (5-kilometer-tall) mountain it's been exploring since 2014, searching for conditions that may have supported ancient microbial life.

Located on the floor of Gale Crater, Mount Sharp is composed of sedimentary layers that built up over time. Each layer helps tell the story about how Mars changed from being more Earth-like – with lakes, streams and a thicker atmosphere – to the nearly-airless, freezing desert it is today.

The rover's next stop is a part of the mountain called the "sulfate-bearing unit." Sulfates, like gypsum and Epsom salts, usually form around water as it evaporates, and they are yet another clue to how the climate and prospects for life changed nearly 3 billion years ago.

But between the rover and those sulfates lies a vast patch of sand that Curiosity must drive around to avoid getting stuck. Hence the mile-long road trip: Rover planners ... expect to reach the area in early fall, although the science team could decide to stop along the way to drill a sample or study any surprises they come across. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18008
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: NASA/JPL: Curiosity's Summer Road Trip Has Begun

Post by neufer » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:58 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Art Neuendorffer