Two weeks after being expertly parked in Mars's Gale Crater by NASA's sky crane apparatus, Mars rover Curiosity has made its first test-drive. It wasn't a particularly long journey; it moved just 10 feet from its landing site--a half-hour trip--so to re-park itself in an area where the rover has visually confirmed there are no obstacles.
The play-by-play: Curiosity successfully tested its wheel turning capability yesterday, performing what NASA is aptly calling a "wheel wiggle." Today, it took those skills on a real test. The rover moved 15 feet away, turned 90 degrees, and reversed a few feet. Fin.
Now that it's parked, the rover will remain stationary for awhile. Its next trek--the first of any real distance--is currently slated for next month and will take Curiosity a quarter-mile to a location dubbed Glenelg where three kinds of terrain intersect, one of which is Martian bedrock. Mission scientists figure the bedrock is as good a place as any to start drilling for samples and analyzing Mars' geographical history.
That trip may take up to two months. In other words, Curiosity's heart-pounding 17,000-mile-per-hour-to-zero-mile-per-hour landing was the last high speed trick the Mars Science Lab mission will pull for a while. And it's no wonder; if your car cost $2.5 billion, you'd be very, very careful with it too.
I watch Curiosity wiggle, it makes me giggle. Curiosity, later next month will take a stroll to Glenelg and park on some bedrock to begin drilling and start learning of Martian history.
Great Zods! WoWzers! Zapi-Dootel!
This is all so Cool-able-ishy!
What's with you two jerks? You'll get to see some cool stuff, just be patient. But people today don't get "patient" everything has to be instant for you double digit IQers.
Ummm, hey, I was being postive!
Perhaps your inner voice in your head heard sarcasium. I suggest you get a new recording sir. Take care. ;)
jackson0458, What sort of cool stuff will we see? A brown rock shaped like a turtle perhaps. Won't that be exciting.
lol i like how they edited out a part of mars. alien much?
"You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." -Morpheus
After all the discoveries of the last few years, wouldn't it be great if the world didn't end in 2012 AND we find ET life?
I bet that would shut some people up. For a few minutes at least.
Biblical historians have already found alien life that came down from above and mingled with us humans. It is document all over the place; from lot of different various religions. And in general ancient history, it is further noted but many cultures of alien visitations.
Our current scientific community concedes greatly to the possibility of ET, way way out in the cosmos, but become shy or just denies any current ET visits.
The Mayan calendar 21st December 2012 is an end date to a calendar that cycles 5125 years approximately. It began around 3113 BC. Now the Mayan culture that created this calendar began around 900 AD, which bring a curious question of why began a calendar in the past, prior to your own culture existence. This brings the possibility that the Mayans were taught this calendar from an outside source. The good news is this calendar is of cycles, same as seasons of the year and we humans adapt just fine to the season and we will adapt to a new Mayan cycle as well.
Now what was going on back in 3113 BC in the world to make this a significant starting point?