Curiosity touches Mars surface

Mon 06 Aug 2012

The US space agency NASA landed Curiosity, a huge new robot rover on Mars on 5 August 2012. The one-tonne vehicle touched the surface of Mars after a 345-million-mile expedition. The robot rover will now conduct a study to find out whether the  planet was ever hospitable to life. The robot rover, which epitomizes the technological wizardry of man kind, is set to spend nearly two years for the mission.

NASA undertook the mission with an objective to determine whether Mars has ever had the conditions to support life. The ambitious project costed the US government about 2.5 billion dollar.

Specific Technological Features of Curiosity

  • The 900 kg rover has the top speed of about 4cm/s
  • Plutonium generators installed on the rover will deliver heat and electricity for at least 14 years
  • 75kg science payload more than 10 times as massive as those of earlier US Mars rovers
  • Equipped with tools to brush and drill into rocks, to scoop up, sort and sieve samples
  • Variety of analytical techniques to discern chemistry in rocks, soil and atmosphere
  • Even carries a laser to zap rocks; beam will identify atomic elements in rocks
  • Equipped with 17 cameras, which will identify particular targets, and a laser will zap those rocks to probe their chemistry
  • Findings of the mission will be delivered to Earth through antennas on the rover deck

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