Third drive of Curiosity's long trek covers 135 feet

Jul 12, 2013
Lower slopes of Mount Sharp appear at the top of this image taken by the right Navigation Camera (Navcam) of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity at the end of a drive of about 135 feet (41 meters) during the 329th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (July 9, 2013). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drove 135 feet (41 meters) on Tuesday, July 9, the third drive of a journey of many months from the "Glenelg" area to Mount Sharp.

Last week, the mission finished investigating science targets in the Glenelg area, about 500 yards (half a kilometer) east of where Curiosity landed. The mission's next major destination is at the lower layers of Mount Sharp, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) southwest of Glenelg. The July 9 drive brought Curiosity's odometry to about 325 feet (99 meters) since completing the Glenelg investigations and about 0.51 mile (0.95 kilometer) since landing on Mars in August 2012.

Mount Sharp, in the middle of Gale Crater, exposes many layers where scientists anticipate finding evidence about how the ancient Martian environment changed and evolved. At targets in the Glenelg area, where Curiosity worked for the first half of 2013, the rover found evidence for an ancient wet environment that had conditions favorable for . This means the mission already has accomplished its main science objective.

Explore further: Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

Related Stories

Curiosity Mars rover nears turning point

Jun 05, 2013

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is approaching its biggest turning point since landing its rover, Curiosity, inside Mars' Gale Crater last summer.

Curiosity rover explores 'Yellowknife Bay'

Dec 20, 2012

(Phys.org)—The NASA Mars rover Curiosity this week is driving within a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay," providing information to help researchers choose a rock to drill.

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.

Mars rover Curiosity working 'flawlessly': NASA

Sep 13, 2012

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 t ...

Recommended for you

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

3 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

3 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

20 hours ago

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

20 hours ago

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

Biomarkers of the deep

22 hours ago

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Spain is a unique geological site that has fascinated astrobiologists for decades. The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) in Spain's Río Tinto area is the largest known deposit ...

User comments : 0