NASA’s Curiosity spacecraft celebrates 3,000 days on Mars with a stunning panorama of the planet
NASA agency Curiosity wandering I just celebrated a major milestone – 3000 days on Mars. To celebrate the occasion, the space agency has it Chest A stunning new panorama of the red planet captured by the rover.
The Curiosity spacecraft landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. However, scientists are tracking its Martian days, called Sols, which are slightly longer than Earth days, at an average of 24 hours and 39 minutes.
The new epic panorama, released by the space agency on Tuesday, captures the view of the 96-mile-wide Gale Crater and part of Mount Sharp, its central mountain. Captured by Curiosity’s eyes, AKA the Mast Camera.
Curiosity is gradually climbing up and exploring the 3-mile-high Mount Sharp since 2014. His most recent find, captured in the panorama, is a series of distinctive bench-like rock formations that can form due to erosion as well as landslides.
The rock layers in the mountain were formed by bodies of water billions of years ago. „The Curiosity team has seen benches before at Gale Crater,“ NASA said, „but it’s rarely such a picturesque cluster of steps.“
„Our science team is excited to see how it formed and what it means for the ancient environment within Gale,“ said Curiosity project scientist Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The panorama is actually a composite of 122 photos taken by Curiosity on November 18. After being captured, the rover continued to climb to higher ground, and made its way to the next main layer, called the „Sulfate Carrier Unit“.
Since starting its mission, Curiosity has been researching conditions that may have previously supported life, collecting rock samples along the way for analysis.
He had a number of specializations Achievements, Including finding evidence that the planet contained steady liquid water, discovering that the planet was once suitable for life and finding organic carbon molecules, the building blocks of life. He also found methane present and active in the atmosphere of the red planet, discovered radiation levels that could pose health risks to humans, and concluded that the Martian atmosphere was thicker than it is today.
Sister Curiosity spacecraft will soon join. DeterminationWhen it lands on the red planet in February. The Tenacity is designed to bring samples from Mars back to Earth, marking the first round trip to another planet.
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