Mars Curiosity rover celebrates 10 years of habitation

In the present day NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrates 10 years on Mars, and has been going sturdy since its arrival on August 6, 2012. As the primary of the brand new Martian rover design together with Perseverance, Curiosity it solely offered sensible scientific details about historical past and historical past. the geology of the planet but in addition demonstrated many engineering concepts that made the drops greater and higher than ever earlier than.

Whenever you consider a Mars rover, most individuals image one thing small, just like the microwave-sized Sojourner that landed on Mars in 1997, or the golf cart Alternative and Spirit rovers that landed in 2004. rovers, like because it and the Perseverance are car-sized and significantly heavier than their trailblazing siblings. This improve in measurement and weight means the brand new rovers can carry extra refined scientific devices, remodeling the rovers from pint-sized explorers who may solely acquire fundamental information. cell laboratories. That precept is the place Curiosity acquired its nickname, the Mars Science Laboratory.

Image released by NASA to celebrate ten years of the Curiosity Mars rover on the Red Planet.
Picture launched by NASA to have a good time 10 years of the Curiosity Mars rover on the Pink Planet. NASA/JPL-Caltech

The bigger and heavier rover faces an even bigger problem, nonetheless, when it comes to the way it can land on Mars. Earlier generations of Mars rovers had been lined by airbags and would fall to the floor the place they might crash earlier than touchdown, with the air within the airbags defending them from come out However Curiosity’s vital weight made the airbags ineffective, so a brand new touchdown approach was developed.

The sky crane system that introduced Curiosity and Perseverance safely to the Martian floor is powered by a jetpack that fires weapons to slowly descend because the rover is lowered onto a set of cables. As soon as the rover has landed, the cables are launched and the jetpack flies to forestall collisions between it and the rover. This technique helps preserve the rover in a selected and predictable place, versus the surprising deployment of airbags, and might land very heavy rovers safely.

Curiosity instantly captured the hearts of the general public and produced gorgeous photos of the Martian panorama in addition to lovely cloud photos along with its mission to seek for indicators of historical life and measure the Martian ambiance. A few of its hottest tasks have included high-resolution photos and movies of Gale Crater, the place it explores.

Nonetheless, Mars continues to be a harsh atmosphere, and Curiosity has needed to face challenges akin to sharp rocks that broken its wheels. To mitigate this problem, the rover group is cautious about how they function Curiosity to make sure that as little harm as attainable is finished to the {hardware} in order that it may well proceed to function for so long as attainable. so long as it may well.

“When you get to Mars, every thing you do relies on the truth that nobody can repair it for 100 million kilometers,” stated Andy Mishkin, director of the Curiosity mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in an announcement. “It is all about making good use of what is already in your rover.”

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