Nasa is getting raady to have Curiosity move towards Mount Sharp to continue its mission in Gale Crater.
Curiosity has spent the past six months testing its equipment by drilling for rock samples and analyzing them. The tools and the laser drill have all checked out.
So now mission managers say they will soon command Curiosity to move to Mount Sharp. The drive is shorter than most people’s morning commute, about 3.5 miles (8 km) from its current location.
Of course Curiosity, as the name implies, will not just be making a straight shot to the sight. The rover will stop along the way to take samples and do other experiments. Also, there is the lovely Martian winter and dust storms to contend with.
So in about 10 months to a year, Curiosity will have reached its destination. 10 months. Really, I mean not traffic jams or anything and I can get there faster than that. Oh well, I hope there is a Starbucks along the way.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +