- Why go to Mars?
- Seeking signs of habitability
- Where to look?
- Destination: Gale crater
- Rover vision
- Surface and atmospheric studies
- Curiosity's arm
- Curiosity's hand
- Chemistry and mineralogy
- SAM Instruments
- Preparing for landing
- Entry, descent & landing
- MSL Brief
- Curiosity landing simulation
Created by NASA.
Want to join the conversation?
- I wonder if Curiousity has travelled about 1/5 the surface of Mars until now?(43 votes)
- April 16, 2017 update-
NASA's site gives live updates for the rover here: https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/mission/whereistherovernow/
As of "sol 1664" (4 years, 204 days of the mission), the little rover has gone 15.98 kilometers, not even 10 miles! Pokey little guy, but its not designed to really travel, there is too much to do!(1 vote)
- Were the NASA robot designers inspired by the design WALL-E?(3 votes)
- Do you think that there was/is life on Mars? I think that it is an interesting idea that life might be on Mars. : )(8 votes)
- If life was present on Mars millions of years ago, what proof do we need? What would be the signs of life? Are scientists looking for any particular molecules?(5 votes)
- They are searching for three things. The first 2 Are the ingredients of Water, H2O. Hydrogen and Oxygen in other words. They are looking for this because life as we know and think of it revolves around water. Thay are also looking for Carbon. All living matter is carbon based. Though I have heard through my Chem Professor that some places are looking for other ways to get life other than a Carbon base. anyways those are the molecules that scientists are looking for.
Signs of life is a little bit more difficult. My best guess is that they are looking for Water Erosion. While not inherently a sigh of life, it does allow for possibilities of life.
Finaly we don't know if microbial organisms exist or ever existed on Mars. The only proof that we could find one way or another is either through micorscopes, and that assumes that there is life on Mars, and fossils, fossils which would likely be found from the many volcanoes on Mars, but even then you would still need microscopes to prove that they existed.(5 votes)
- Why doesn't curiosity have solar panels on it's body? What energy does it rely on when traveling? If the power one day runs out, will NASA just leave it on the surface of mars as space junk? Or the rover could survive with it's energy source it recently has for long enough and our technology increases and from then on we will be able to send special probes or rovers to refuel it on it's power so that it could go on for more and not run out of power?(5 votes)
- If the robot already stores so many things why not store something that can wipe off the dust from time to time(1 vote)
- In the picture, where does Curiosity get its energy because it doesn't have solar panels?(2 votes)
- i was reading about the future and it said people could live on mars. could this really happen one day.(3 votes)
- Yes, several space agencies, such as NASA and SpaceX, are working on this right now. The problem with Mars is that it currently is not habitable by humans, so we'd need to take our own self contained habitats if we want to live on Mars in the near future. In the long-term we might be able to terraform Mars to be habitable by humans, though that's somewhat of a long shot.(1 vote)
- What would happen if Curiosity were to flip over because of the uneven terrain of Mars?(2 votes)
- what would happen if life was possible on mars(3 votes)
Music Curiosity is not a life detection mission: we're not actually looking for life. We don't have the ability to detect life if it was there. What we are looking for, is the ingredients of life. The Mars Science Laboratory takes this Curiosity Rover with this incredible set of payload instruments to figure out if Mars ever could have supported microbial life. By that we mean a place where micro organisms, little tiny single-cell organisms could have lived and that requires a source of energy and water because all life as we know it is associated with water, and then we also need a source of carbon. Curiosity is going to land at Gale crater. We're going to be climbing a mountain. In fact, one of the first things we'll see when we wake up the first day on Mars is this giant mountain in front of us just waiting for us a few miles away. And in that mountain there's a stack of layers, and like turning the pages of a book we will explore these layers and look at them in terms of whether or not they preserved evidence for ancient habitable environments. So you can think of Spirit and Opportunity as robotic geologists. Curiosity goes one step further; it's not only a robotic geologist, but a robotic geochemist. We need a bigger rover this time around because we've got ten science instruments and two of them fit inside of the belly of the rover. We bring some state-of-the-art laboratories to do very detailed geochemical analysis of the rocks and soils on Mars and the atmosphere as well. We have to feed those instruments by getting samples of rock with a big robotic arm and a drill on the end of it. And then we of course want to have all of our eyes and our other senses that we need with cameras and other detectors to monitor the weather and other things as well. The reason it's important to have this capability is, this brings us back to how we address the question in search for habitable environments again. We need to make those measurements in order to know that if life had evolved on Mars, would this be the kind of place where microorganisms could have lived. Music