Whereas we’re on Earth grappling with one of many largest pandemics in trendy reminiscence, NASA’s Curiosity rover remains to be pottering round Mars, in all probability having fun with the serenity – simply because it has been for the final eight years.
We’re nonetheless receiving nice selfies from the rover, too. Simply final month, on February 26, Curiosity took a selfie on the Hutton Drill Web site earlier than climbing up in direction of the Greenheugh pediment, setting a file for the steepest terrain it is ever climbed.
“Kudos to our rover drivers for making it up the steep, sandy slope under the Greenheugh pediment,” writes planetary geologist Michelle Minitti in a NASA weblog publish, “and delivering us to a stretch of geology we had our eyes on even earlier than we landed in Gale crater!”
It wasn’t a simple climb, although. NASA staff explains that it took the little rover three makes an attempt to scale the hill, the second try tilting Curiosity to a reasonably massive 31 diploma angle.
It is unlikely that stated angle would flip the rover: The wheel system on Curiosity permits it to tilt as much as a precarious 45 diploma angle with out flipping, though even with that security characteristic, it may well take a couple of makes an attempt if the wheels spin in place.
So, Curiosity is right here, proper manner up, for an additional day. So long as its human crews on Earth can nonetheless work, it will hold exploring the Purple Planet.
By no means one to remain nonetheless for lengthy, Curiosity goes to proceed climbing the pediment, and mainly benefit from the view.
“Now that we don’t have a steep cliff in our entrance windshield, the skies stretch largely unencumbered above and round us,” explains Minitti.
“Navcam will take a 360 diploma go searching for mud devils on two totally different sols, and can purchase motion pictures searching for clouds each within the afternoon and early morning. Mastcam and Navcam will assess the dustiness of the ambiance by gazing throughout Gale crater from our nice viewpoint.”