Rough Terrain on Mars near Mt. Sharp
Thought I would check-in on some of the latest activity from our rover friend, Curiosity. Curiosity has undergone some software updates since I last wrote, it seems to be fully operational, more than I can say for my laptop, but that’s another story.
Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012, it has managed to make a journey to an area dubbed ‘Mt Sharp’. The rover has traveled over 8 miles, not a great distance, but the going has been difficult. The terrain has been very rugged, other areas appeared to be quite sandy. Since towing isn’t an option on Mars, navigators here on Earth decided to avoid the sand by using another route. It hasn’t been easy going on alternative routes either, there are many rough rocks, sharp edges and features to chew on the wheels. Changing a flat (replacing a wheel, since they don’t use inflatable wheels) isn’t an option either.
Much of this exploration will prove valuable for a future manned expedition to Mars. Building equipment, spacesuits and finding a suitable landing site will still be a challenge even with information gained from Curiosity.
Photos courtesy of NASA