What purpose has NASA’s rover Curiosity on Mars ?

Aug

6

2012

I’ve seen a ot of news everywhere about this NASA’s rover which targets Mars. What’s the mission ?

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In: Astronomy Asked By: nuxx
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Answer #1

NASA┬┤s Mars Rover Curiosity was scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida and landed succesfully between 5 and 6 august 2012, after an 8 months trip of 354 million miles(570 million km).
Curiosity was launched on an Atlas V-541, the largest rocket for launching to a planet. The landing target is the 96 miles wide Gale Crater from Mars. Curiosity is going to take loads of pictures and analyze the different rock layers from the crater, as well as the canyons and channels which are present there.
The main purpose of it’s mission is to get as much info as possible regarding the rock content and minerals, signs of water and organics from Mars in order to provide an answer to the question “Could, can, would Mars support life?”. Of course the question is directed to microbian life, and not complex life (yet).
Curiosity is loaded with sensors, a laser, cameras(17), a drill, a weather detector called REMS,a seven-foot-long arm, 2 radiation detectors, a battery fueled up by radioactive decay of plutoniom-238.
In order to be able to carry that load of features, the rover is a car-sized machine, which is a first from a size perspective of spatial rovers.
To keep everithing from boiling up, Curiosity was encased into a shell which protected it while passing through the martian atmosphere. This casing can also steer trough the atmosphere, like a small spacecraft.

Find more at NASA’s dedicated page about this astonishing mission:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

Answers Answered By: Bogdan [ Grey Star Level]

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