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Mars Curiosity Celebrates Sol 2,000

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Mars Curiosity Celebrates Sol 2,000

Post by Dragon on Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:39 pm

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover just hit a new milestone: its two-thousandth Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet. An image mosaic taken by the rover in January offers a preview of what comes next.

Looming over the image is Mount Sharp, the mound Curiosity has been climbing since September 2014. In the center of the image is the rover's next big, scientific target: an area scientists have studied from orbit and have determined contains clay minerals.

The formation of clay minerals requires water. Scientists have already determined that the lower layers of Mount Sharp formed within lakes that once spanned Gale Crater’s floor. The area ahead could offer additional insight into the presence of water, how long it may have persisted, and whether the ancient environment may have been suitable for life.

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Re: Mars Curiosity Celebrates Sol 2,000

Post by Dragon on Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:41 pm


Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This mosaic taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover looks uphill at Mount Sharp, which Curiosity has been climbing since 2014. Highlighted in white is an area with clay-bearing rocks that scientists are eager to explore; it could shed additional light on the role of water in creating Mount Sharp. The mosaic was assembled from dozens of images taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam). It was taken on Sol 1931 back in January.

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Re: Mars Curiosity Celebrates Sol 2,000

Post by Dragon on Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:43 pm



The Rover Spirit has completed its 2000th sol on Mars. The term sol is used by astronomers for the duration of a solar day the Red Planet: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35-plus seconds.

Spirit and its twin rover, Opportunity, are now five-and-a-half years into missions designed to last 90 sols.

While stuck hub-deep in Martian soil since May, Spirit has continued to gather data about its location, called Troy, on the west side of the low plateau named Home Plate.

 
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