NASA’s Curiosity Martian rover celebrates its 10 years of activity: after 7 incredible minutes of descent and maneuvers that kept everyone in suspense, in August 2012 the rover began its adventure on the red planet. In 120 months he traveled 29 kilometers dedicated to exploring the vast Gale crater, which is believed to be home to a huge lake.
With Curiosity, the largest and most complex space science laboratory has arrived on Mars, the size of an SUV, with extremely powerful instruments and almost unlimited autonomy. In these 10 years Curiosity has explored a large part of the Gale crater, a region considered of great interest to try to understand the past of this planet, now a desert expanse with no obvious traces of life, but which billions of years ago was rich in seas, lakes and rivers.
Equipped with a drill, cameras, some damage to the wheels, but not considered worrying, the rover has covered 29 kilometers and overcame over 600 meters of elevation gain. “Perhaps most impressive is that all scientific instruments are working as well as when we landed,” commented Abigail Fraeman, one of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Curiosity managers.
Curiosity’s next target is the so-called Layered-Sulfate, the area of Mount Sharp completely different from those explored so far and from which useful indications could come for the development of future human colonies.
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