NASA’s Curiosity rover gets ready for Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover gets ready for Mars
NASA has confirmed that its nuclear powered Curiosity rover will depart for Mars this Saturday (26 November) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The 10ft long, 9ft wide vehicle is being sent as part of a $2.5billion mission to see whether the red planet does in fact have what it takes to nurture microbial life.

Once on Mars, Curiosity will analyse the soil for organic compounds, investigate the composition of the Martian surface and determine the atmospheric cycling and processes.

Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as earlier Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. It is equipped to carry a set of 10 different instruments, including cameras, lasers, a 7ft tall jackhammer, analytical instruments and laser firing equipment.

According to Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars exploration program, the vehicle will be the largest and most complex piece of equipment to ever be placed on the surface of another planet.

The rover is scheduled to arrive on Mars next August, 8½ months after embarking on the 354 million-mile voyage. 10.6 pounds of plutonium will power its two year mission.

Author
Laura Hopperton

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

 

Supporting Information
Do you have any comments about this article?
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

© MA Business Ltd (a Mark Allen Group Company) 2021