Launch November 26, 2011 - Landing August 5/6, 2012
A new rover is being sent to Mars! Rovers are vehicles designed to move across the surface of other planets.
The Curiosity rover aims to learn big things. Curiosity is outfitted with a jet pack for landing, a rock vaporizing laser and a radioactive power source.
Two other rovers have been sent to Mars. In 1997, the Mars Pathfinder mission used the Sojourner rover to gather data about the surface of Mars. In 2004, a pair of rovers named Spirit & Opportunity searched for evidence of water on the surface of Mars.
This wheel comparison shows the size of the wheels associated with various Mars rovers. From the left, these are the wheels from the Sojourner, Spirit/Opportunity, and Curiosity rovers. The Curiosity Rover is much larger than rovers that have been sent to Mars in the past. It weighs more than all previous Mars rovers combined.
When scientists create tools to study outer space, they do it with a question in mind that they'd like to answer.
How hot is Venus?
How far away is the Sun?
What is the edge of our Solar System like?
Can you think of a question that you could answer using an outer space mission?
Sojourner - "What is the pressure, temperature, and wind like on Mars?"
Spirit & Opportunity - "Was there water on Mars or an environment suitable for life?"
"Seeds that have grown in space will grow the same as seeds that have not."
"Mars contains the building blocks of life and may have been suitable for living organisms in the past."
his it true that mars has water and there could be life on mars
how would u know that the rover is not a living organism
The planned mission lasts for two Earth years and has the rover exploring an area that is about 3x12 miles. The actual range of Curiosity is unknown because it is possible the radioactive power source of the rover could operate for many years to come.
Supposing scientists do not find that there is evidence that Mars could not have sustained life, to our knowledge, is it still possible that there may be another sort of life system? Life, as we know it, is carbon based and relies on water and oxygen, but is there any possibility of life outside of our own understanding?
Various Mars landers and oribiter spacecrafts have already detected evidence of past rivers as well as ice and snowfall on Mars. Curiosity is looking for the building blocks of life and gathering information that can be used to send a manned mission to Mars in the future.
How big will the next Mars explorer probe be? And when will it be sent?
The Curiosity Rover is on the way to Mars to test if rocks might have some of the same molecules that are found in living organisms.
The rover's job is to search Mars for evidence of past life and to test the environment to see if it might be able to support life.
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