NASA’s Curiosity rover mission is still making substantial discoveries since the day it first landed on planet Mars on August 5, 2012. The robot made a sensational and troubled landing descending softly on the soft planet’s surface. It was lowered on cables by a rocket powered sky crane.
The triumph of this unparalleled operation caused mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California to become an emotional affair. Within a passage of a week’s time of its descent inside planet Mars’ Gale crater Curiosity rotated through an ancient steam bed where once water flowed. Soon after, scientists tumbled upon an amazing discovery. Billions of years ago an area known as Yellowknife Bay was element of a lake that could have assisted microbial life.
Another study yielded an interesting result where the scientists found that livable environment persevered on Mars for millions of years. Curiosity worked in the area near its landing site in Gale’s floor for its first year on Mars. Then, the nuclear-powered rover began a 5-mile hike to the monumental Mount Sharp, which rises about 3.4 miles into the sky from Gale’s center.
The main aim of Curiosity was the exploration of the mountain’s foothills. Mission team members wanted that the six wheeled robot should explore mount Sharp’s lower reaches examining the rock layers for clues about Mars’ transformation from a comparatively warm and wet world to the cold, arid place it is today.