When NASA’s Curiosity rover hit the surface of Mars on August 6th, the exploration of space took a giant leap forward. Equipped with 17 high-tech cameras, infrared laser and full-blown scientific laboratory, Curiosity’s mission is to give us a better understanding of the Red Planet.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” These are words that Walt Disney once uttered. And as much as these words were true during this creative genius’ heyday, these words are just as true today. Curiosity makes it possible to human kind to explore new opportunities, open new worlds and find solutions we do not even yet have the problems for. Whether the result is a good or a bad one, curiosity helps us taking a step forward.
Even though the exploration of Mars has been in the focus of astronomy for centuries, the 21st century seems to be the one that will provide us with most convincing findings. Since August 6th, Curiosity is in search of characteristics and trails to answer the question whether Mars was habitable in the past, or even is today. To find such evidence, the rover examines the importance of water, takes samples of the Martian climate and seeks geological information that will help providing the necessary knowledge to prepare humanity for the first human exploration of Mars.
Chances are that plenty of high-quality video footage, fine-grained photographs and scientific proof all lie ahead of us. Right now, we, on Earth, can “only” wait and hope to get a glimpse of the Red Planet’s surface that will let our curiosity expand.