The Mars Rover carried on in its exploratory mission of the Red Planet. It snapped a selfie or two of the Martian landscape with it at its center.
NASA has got a good thing going. Its Curiosity Mars Rover is currently traveling. That is towards the southwestern region of the cold planet. This has occurred after many weeks of exploration of certain geological terrain.
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The Martian rocks and soil contained silica and hydrogen. The Marias Pass was the ideal place where the Rover drilled for a sample. It also used its attached camera to take snapshots and a selfie of the process.
August 12th was the date when the drilling came to an end. The selfie has been posted online for all to gaze at in wonderment. The Rover ventured forth into Mount Sharp. It plodded on for 433 feet till it reached its destination.
The rock and soil samples taken from the earlier drilling are being analyzed. The question is why the rocks contain so much silica and hydrogen. A device known as a ChemCam is being used to monitor the samples. The rock contains silicon and oxygen, both elements already found on earth.
"The ground about 1 meter beneath the rover in this area holds three or four times as much water as the ground anywhere else Curiosity has driven during its three years on Mars," said DAN Principal Investigator Igor Mitrofanov of Space Research Institute, Moscow.
As for the hydrogen present in the soil, it is being monitored by the DAN instrument. The hydrogen could have been part of water molecules once upon a time. This opens up fresh vistas of life being extant on Mars.
One meter beneath the surface soil there are water reserves. The Curiosity Rover underwent a slight short circuit when it was drilling. Later on things returned to normal. And it continued its work of collecting samples of Martian dust and rocks. It’s a good thing that the glitch has not repeated itself. However, it could re-occur which is cause for concern.
"We were pleased to see no repeat of the short circuit during the Buckskin drilling and sample transfer," said Steven Lee, deputy project manager for Curiosity at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
"It could come back, but we have made changes in fault protection to continue safely drilling even in the presence of small shorts. We also improved drill percuss circuit telemetry to gain more diagnostic information from any future occurrences."
The Rover is trekking all over the surface features of Mars. The fact that there is a probe on Mars is almost as exciting as the first manned landing on the moon. Yet such is the way of humanity.
People take things normally as they happen. The technology used to construct the Curiosity Rover was first grade. It is a marvel and miracle of engineering and aeronautical science.
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Maybe some time in the future we would be sending people to Mars as well. Already the plans are underway to send a group of people to Mars. They will be selected from the earth’s population and will enter Martian territory.