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Wish an extremely happy 10th landing anniversary to Mars rover Curiosity

Today NASAs Curiosity rover celebrates 10 years on Mars, and its own still going strong since its landing on August 6, 2012. Because the first of a fresh design of Martian rover alongside Perseverance, Curiosity have not only provided illuminating scientific information regarding the annals and geology of the earth but in addition has demonstrated a bunch of engineering concepts which have made rovers bigger and much better than in the past.

Once you think about a Mars rover, lots of people are picturing something small, just like the microwave-sized Sojourner which landed on Mars in 1997, or the golf cart sized Opportunity and Spirit rovers which landed in 2004. But Curiosity marked the start of much bigger rovers, since it and Perseverance are car-sized and significantly heavier than their trailblazing brethren. This upsurge in size and mass implies that newer rovers can carry a lot more complex scientific instruments, turning rovers from pint-sized explorers that could collect only basic data into mobile laboratories. That principle is where Curiosity got its technical mission name, Mars Science Laboratory.

A poster produced by NASA to celebrate the Curiosity Mars rover’s tenth anniversary on the Red Planet.
A poster made by NASA to celebrate the Curiosity Mars rovers 10th anniversary on the Red Planet. NASA/JPL-Caltech

A more impressive and heavier rover faces a more impressive challenge, though, when it comes to how it could be landed on Mars. Previous generations of Mars rovers were covered in airbags and essentially dropped onto the top where they might bounce around before arriving at an end, with air in the airbags protecting them from impacts. But Curiositys significant mass made airbags ineffective, so a fresh landing system originated.

The sky crane system which delivered both Curiosity and Perseverance safely to the Martian surface works utilizing a jetpack that fires thrusters to slow descent as the rover is lowered on a couple of cables. After the rover has touched down, the cables detach and the jetpack flies away to avoid any tangles between it and the rover. This technique really helps to place a rover in a particular and predictable location, unlike the unpredictable bouncing of airbags, also it can disappointed much heavier rovers safely.

Curiosity immediately captured the hearts of the general public and contains produced stunning images of the Martian landscape in addition to beautiful images of clouds along with its work searching for signs of ancient life and measuring the martian atmosphere. A few of its hottest outreach projects have included enormous high-resolution panoramas and videos showing the Gale Crater, where it really is exploring.

Mars continues to be a hardcore environment though, and Curiosity has already established to handle challenges like sharp rocks that have damaged its wheels. To mitigate this matter, the rover driving team is careful about how exactly they use Curiosity to make sure that only a small amount damage as you possibly can is performed to the hardware so that it can continue doing work for so long as it could.

Once you land on Mars, all you do is founded on the truth that theres no-one around to correct it for 100 million miles, said Andy Mishkin, Curiositys acting project manager at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement. Its about making intelligent usage of whats already on your own rover.

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