Mars rover Curiosity working 'flawlessly': NASA

Sep 13, 2012
This view of the lower front and underbelly areas of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's camera on September 9. Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars more than a month ago, appears to be working "flawlessly" as it prepares to continue its two-year exploration of the Red Planet, said the US space agency.

For the past week, the rover, which touched down on August 6, has undergone a series of instrument tests, as well as a rebooting of its steering computers, and everything so far appears fine, according to officials with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

"Through every phase of the check-out, Curiosity has performed almost flawlessly," said Jennifer Tropser, mission manager for Curiosity at the laboratory, adding that a final few tests would be done early Thursday.

"The success so far of these activities has been outstanding," she told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Curiosity is on a mission to investigate whether it is possible to live on Mars and to learn whether conditions there might have been able to support life in the past.

The rover last week temporarily halted its journey across the surface of Mars as it tested the tools on its .

The goal was to figure out how the arm is functioning after the long and in the different gravity and temperatures on Mars.

The arm and the soil sampling system are the last pieces of the massive rover to be put through testing, officials said.

The $2.5 billion craft has covered some some 109 meters (357 feet) within the Gale crater since it began trundling eastward en route to its first major destination—an intersection called Glenelg.

That site, located at a meeting point of three different types of terrain, is where experts hope to find a first rock target for drilling and analysis.

Space officials have said it will be a few more weeks before the rover is in place and ready to scoop up a sample of .

After Glenelg, will continue on to its ultimate destination, the slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

Explore further: Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mars rover Curiosity begins arm-work phase

Sep 06, 2012

(Phys.org)—After driving more than a football field's length since landing, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is spending several days preparing for full use of the tools on its arm.

Mars rover takes 'cool' detour: NASA

Aug 17, 2012

The US space agency NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will make a wide detour to explore a "cool" geographical hot spot on Mars, scientists said Friday.

Recommended for you

Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

20 hours ago

(Phys.org) —As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?

23 hours ago

Several companies are developing spacecraft designed to take ordinary citizens, not astronauts, on short trips into space. "Space tourism" and short periods of weightlessness appear to be safe for most individuals ...

An unmanned rocket exploded. So what?

Oct 30, 2014

Sputnik was launched more than 50 years ago. Since then we have seen missions launched to Mercury, Mars and to all the planets within the solar system. We have sent a dozen men to the moon and many more to ...

NASA image: Sunrise from the International Space Station

Oct 30, 2014

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted this image of a sunrise, captured from the International Space Station, to social media on Oct. 29, 2014. Wiseman wrote, "Not every day is easy. Yesterday was a tough one. ...

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

Oct 30, 2014

In a landmark agreement for Europe's Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over €3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus 'space component' between 2014 ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.