“Curiosity remains in good health with all systems operating as expected,” NASA said in a statement.
The US space agency added that catalyst bed heaters were in the process of being turned on to prepare the eight Mars Lander Engines that are part of MSL’s descent propulsion system.
The nuclear-powered rover is the biggest ever built for planetary exploration, weighing in at one ton, about the size of a small car, and carries a complex chemistry kit to zap rocks, drill soil and test for radiation.
This question has been asked a billion times and the answer is that of course we are not alone in this vast universe. And of course once there is water somewhere, there is definitely life. That’s how things are and have always been. Water is essential to life. Would this Mars mission unearth something shattering ? I doubt it, but they would probably single celled microbes or muticelled for that matter.
Are we alone? Or was there life on another planet? ‘s $2.5 billion dream machine, the , aims to take the first steps toward finding out when it nears Mars’s surface on Monday.
The planet is Earth‘s closest neighbor, and scientists have found signs of water there, hinting that some form of life was once likely, even though Mars is now a dry place with a thin atmosphere, extreme winters and dust storms.
NASA said it will find out if its Mars Science Laboratory and rover, Curiosity — designed to hunt for soil-based signatures of life and send back data to prepare for a future human mission — landed safely at 1:31 am Eastern time (0531 GMT) on Monday.
That will be about 14 minutes after the touchdown actually happens due to the time it takes for spacecraft signals to travel from Mars to Earth.
- NASA rover on course for Mars landing (news.smh.com.au)
- Huge Mars Rover Set for Nerve-Wracking Landing on Red Planet Today (space.com)
- Are we alone? NASA’s Mars rover aims to find ou (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Earth to Mars rover, Curiosity: Have you landed? (news.yahoo.com)
- Mars rover success could lift future missions (sacbee.com)