(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 microbial life. This means the mission already has accomplished its main science objective.
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