Monday, March 25, 2013

After Computer Glitch: Mars Curiosity Rover Returns to Work

Mars Curiosity rover gets back to sending snapshots

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Marco Di Lorenzo / Ken Kremer
The Curiosity rover's instrument-laden robotic arm is front and center in this mosaic view captured by the Mars rover's NavCam system and assembled by Marco Di Lorenzo and Ken Kremer. The colorized black-and-white imagery was captured on March 23. Click on the image to see the full panorama.

After a week of down time due to a computer glitch, NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is once again sending back pictures of its rocky Red Planet locale at Yellowknife Bay. In this fresh panorama, the rover looks as if it's sticking its drill-equipped robotic arm right in your face.

"That drill is hungry, looking for something tasty to eat, and 'you' (loaded with water and organics) are it," jokes scientist-writer Ken Kremer, who collaborated with Italian colleague Marco Di Lorenzo to assemble the panorama.

Curiosity's percussive drill played a key role in the science team's most recently reported breakthrough: the finding that powder drilled out of a Martian rock contained the chemical traces of a life-friendly environment that existed on Mars billions of years ago. The team's chemical analysis of the powder indicated that the minerals were probably formed in the presence of drinkable water.

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Source: NBC News.

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