Curiosity has now its first destination point set. To know, read further.
Curiosity’s First Road Destination Point
Curiosity, the car sized and over one tone rover on the red planet MARS has its first destination set. The scientists of NASA’s Curiosity rover mission have selected an intersection of three terrains as its first trip. The area is named as Glenelg. It is a 400 meters’ destination along southeast side of the Gale crater i.e. the place where curiosity landed.
“With such a great landing spot in Gale Crater, we literally had every degree of the compass to choose from for our first drive,” said John Grotzinger, the Curiosity principal investigator of the California Institute of Technology; in a NASA statement.
It is such found that one of the three terrains in the Glenelg is a type of bedrock. It is being considered as an ideal spot for the first drilling target. The challenge that Grotzinger informed about was that since there is no GPS system on Mars; have to rely on a room full of rover-driving experts and proceed step by step together.
Before starting the journey, the team in charge of Curiosity’s Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, is planning to give their mast-mounted, rock-zapping laser and telescope combination a thorough checkout. It is tonight that curiosity is expected to ‘ZAP’ its first rock, perhaps till will the first time such a powerful laser will be used on an another planet.
In the coming days, Curiosity will exercise with its four steerable wheels i.e. both front and back wheels, turning side by side until they reach the point where all the wheels are set straight in the direction of the destination. Later, the rover will drive forward about one rover-length (10 feet, or 3 meters), turn 90 degrees, and then kick into reverse for about 7 feet (2 meters).
“There will be a lot of important firsts that will be taking place for Curiosity over the next few weeks, but the first motion of its wheels, the first time our roving laboratory on Mars does some actual roving, that will be something special,” said Michael Watkins, mission Manager of Curiosity from the Jet Propulsion Labrotory in Pasadena, California.
Curiosity still has its toughest task in hand to do. Regards to NASA, we all hope everything goes well and as per planned.