NASA has sent a car-sized rover on Mars named Curiosity. This rover is part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission and is designed to explore the crater Gale on the planet. Launched from Cape Canaveral in November 2011, this rover landed inside the expected crater in August 2012.
What Is The Job Description Of The Mars Curiosity Rover?
The rover’s main task is to investigate the climate on planet Mars and assess the geological factors. It will assess whether the environmental conditions inside the Gale crater are favorable for life and whether there is an existence of microbial life or not. It will also investigate the possibility of water and habitability conditions on Mars.
What Is The Current Status Of Mars Curiosity Rover?
In December of 2012, four months after the rover landed on Mars, NASA decided to extend its two-year mission to indefinitely. In August 2017, the rover completed 5 years on Mars. It is still in good working condition. Moreover, in November 2019, the rover completed 2663 days in the crater on Mars.
What Are The Different Investigations Mars Curiosity Rover Will Carry Out?
The different investigations and goals of the rover can be divided according to different categories:
- It will assess the inventory and nature of the organic carbon compounds
- It will also determine the various features that represent the effects of biological processes on the planet.
- The rover will also investigate chemicals like hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus, which are the building blocks of life.
- The rover will assess the present state and distribution of water and carbon dioxide.
- It will also find interesting facts about the atmosphere there.
Geological and Geochemical:
- The rover will find out the reasons for the formation and also for the modification of rocks and soil on the planet.
- It will also investigate the isotopic and mineral composition of the surface on Mars.
- Mars Curiosity Rover will also characterize a broad spectrum of radiation from the surface such as solar proton events, galactic and cosmic radiation, etc. The rover also investigated the radiation exposure in the inside of the carrier as it was traveling to Mars. It continues to do so even as it explores the surface of Mars. Moreover, this data will in the future help a crewed mission.
How Does Curiosity Rover Get Power?
The Mars Curiosity Rover uses a multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator as its energy source. Furthermore, this generator relies on heat generated by decaying plutonium dioxide. Moreover, the energy released in this process runs Curiosity. The generator is designed in such a way that it can at least run-up to one Martian year, which is equivalent to two Earth years.
Interesting Tidbits On The Mars Curiosity Rover
The rover sings happy birthday to itself every August 5, the day it landed on Mars. Furthermore, it celebrates its birthday all alone. But according to some other reports clarified by scientists, later on, it was also revealed that the rover only hummed the birthday song for itself only once and then stopped doing so, because there was no scientific gain in the process.