The Curiosity rover will be commemorating 3000 days on Mars

The space industry will never forget the Curiosity that has maneuvered Mars for now 3000 days. Last week marked this milestone with NASA preparing to send an improved version that will conduct more exploratory research on the red planet. The new model is called the Perseverance rover and will be docking on the planet very soon. The engineers heading the Curiosity mission displayed a panorama that the rover took of the red planet. The picture brings together 122 images depicting a picturesque of rock benches down the slopes of Mount Sharp. The rover has been meandering through this slope for the last six years.

The project scientist of the Curiosity rover, Ashwin Vasavada, situated at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, stated that the scientists are evaluating the formation of these slopes and how they came about in the Gale. The Gale Crater is 154 kilometers deep, and the Curiosity rover has been navigating it since it docked on the red planet in 2012. Scientists have established through the rover pictures that it might have been hosting lake and stream formation that existed on this deep over a million years ago. Mount Sharp is 5.5 kilometers from the center of the Gale Crater. Curiosity has been running around the Gale Crater to discover evidence that might prove water bodies’ existence on this planet before it eventually transformed into the cold desert that it is.

On the other hand, the Perseverance rover will be docking the Jezero Crater a few days after Valentine’s day. The crater is approximately 3700 kilometers from the Gale Crater. The rover will descend the planet in the same manner that its predecessor, Curiosity, did. However, the rover will do more extrusive work to understand what happened to the planet in the past. Additionally, it will gather samples from the crater for further analysis to understand if the solar radiation scorched the life out of the planet. NASA explained that the project had consumed over $2.7 billion to deploy the rover from Earth to the red planet. Nevertheless, the Curiosity rover deserves a round of applause for the data it has collected and dispatched it back to Earth.

Lauren Edgar, the planetary geologist of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, and the Curiosity rover mission team stated that they have travailed through the 3000 days that it passed through the crater. The Perseverance rover is expected to conduct more research to explain the nature of the red planet.