Science

Nasa's Curiosity rover spotted trundling up Mount Sharp by Mars Oribiter

Nasa's Curiosity rover spotted trundling up Mount Sharp by Mars Oribiter”

It may look like an insignificant speck of blue in a sea of coppery-coloured dirt, but the tiny shining dot is actually Nasa's Curiosity rover on Mars.

HiRISE has been imaging Curiosity about every three months, to monitor the surrounding features for changes such as dune migration or erosion.

The Curiosity rover was captured not long after it conducted a investigation of active sand dunes below Mount Sharp and was climbing uphill towards "Vera Rubin Ridge" to examine outcrops where hematite deposits have been identified. Curiosity appears as a blue splotch amid an intimidating group of rocks, cliffs, and dark sand.

"The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completes 1,000 earth days in its orbit well beyond its designed mission life of six months", the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. This is due to how the MRO camera sees the surface of Mars, which highlights differences in the landscape, but doesn't necessarily correlate to natural colors the way people see them.

Explaining the challenges associated with a manned mission to Mars, James said that it generally takes five to six months to reach Mars, adding that a human mission to the Red Planet could take around a year more so Mars and Earth can align themselves in a position that would make it easier for the visitors to come back home in a shorter duration.

The aim of the US$73 million MOM is to study the Martian surface, mineral composition of the planet and scan its atmosphere for methane.

A team of scientists from NASA's Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) division studied the first four samples the Curiosity rover had found from the base of Mount Sharp, and then came to the conclusion that Mars and Earth shared many similarities in their early years. "These layers were deposited about 3.5 billion years ago, coinciding with a time on Earth when life was beginning to take hold".



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