Exploring a Giant Mountain on Mars
29 September 2014


This image, acquired by NASA’s robotic Curiosity Mars rover, shows slopes located near Mount Sharp, a huge Martian mountain.
 
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

On 11 September 2014, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover eventually arrived at a towering mountain on the Red Planet, known as Aeolis Mons or Mount Sharp, after a long drive that began in June 2013. Mount Sharp is the rover's long-term prime target. It is located at the center of a large impact crater, known as Gale. Curiosity will begin exploring the mountain with an examination of the its lower slopes.

Mount Sharp lies near the Martian equator, and rises to an altitude of 5,500 meters above surrounding terrain.

Curiosity blasted into space on 26 November 2011, aboard the powerful Atlas 5 rocket, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and landed safely on Mars, on 6 August 2012. Within its first year of operation, Curiosity accomplished the major science goal of the mission: determining whether Mars ever had environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

Curiosity is a six-wheeled, car-sized robotic rover, powered by a radioisotope electric generator. Its primary science goals include studying the Martian surface, atmosphere and radiations, including cosmic rays and particles coming from the Sun.

References and Further Reading
http://www.nasa.gov/msl
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO

Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
 
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