Mars rover Curiosity working 'flawlessly': NASA

September 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: Mars rover takes 'cool' detour: NASA

Related Stories

Mars rover takes 'cool' detour: NASA

August 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.

Mars rover Curiosity begins arm-work phase

September 6, 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.

Recommended for you

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

September 1, 2015

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. ...

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

August 27, 2015

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars. If we find alien life, new questions will arise. ...

0 comments

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.