Curiosity’s five-year journey across Mars - VIDEO

  04 February 2018    Read: 2916
Curiosity’s five-year journey across Mars - VIDEO
After nearly 2,000 Martian days — after crossing an ancient lake bed and weaving past sand dunes on a planet of blue-tinged sunsets and small, lumpy moons — the Mars rover Curiosity turned around to look back on its years-long journey.
 

This week, NASA released a composite photo of what Curiosity saw in October, and if the rover could breathe, it might gasp.

In one image was its whole story: from the lower slopes of Mount Sharp, where it sat holding its camera, to the spot in the crater floor 11 miles distant, where it had touched down five years earlier to great celebration on Earth.

As the most complex NASA instrument ever put on Mars, with its drill, laser and chemistry set, Curiosity has sometimes disappointed those who would mine its data for research. A NASA panel even chastised the robot — or its operators — for doing more sightseeing than science.

Maybe for the same reason, Curiosity has brought Mars to life for the public. The soil data it's collected suggest Mars was once a beautiful planet of rivers and lakes. But the rover's many postcards of eclipses, dust devils and shimmering sands showed the world it's a beautiful place, even now.

 

The Washington Post


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