NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity hold with itself a 1909 VDB Lincoln penny.
Seems Curiosity has no stores to spend its penny on Mars
It has been like a ritual for geologists to carry a penny with them while researching on rocks. The penny seems to help them in noting down the size of the rocks with reference to a penny. Same was the case with Curiosity here. A 1909 Lincoln penny was given to the 1 ton rover for its mission on Mars.
Don’t know when man will visit Mars, but surely that penny has had its privilege to visit the red planet. Now it has been covered by the dust of Mars particles. Well, leaving behind the actual purpose of its trip to Mars, the penny rather helps to calibrate the cameras of Curiosity.
This past Tuesday, Ashwin Vasavada, the deputy project scientist for Curiosity, informed the L.A Times that they have just tested the 7-foot robotic arm, the cameras, and the spectrometer the rover holds with itself. He also informed that rover was clicking itself from Sunday. It also managed to take the pictures of its undercarriage and also its dirty wheels. The Mars Hand Lens Imager, the adjustable color camera, will take close-up images of the dirt, rocks and pebbles, and also very distant images on the red planet. It took the shot of penny just for a trial.
Curiosity is heading towards Glenelg Intrigue, which has been set as the first destination point. (Refer my article at http://scienceray.com/astronomy/curiositys-wheel-wiggles-ahead-over-its-first-ride/ for information about Glenelg.) At the very moment, Curiosity is taking a detour through mount Sharp, a 3-feet high surface, whose soil composition may very well help scientists learn the past of Mars.
Vasavada informed that scientists have been searching for two things on their way. First thing is a good-sized rock, which could be worked on by multiple instruments. Second is a patch of loose material to practice scooping. They intend to stop whenever they find one of these two.
The penny is one of the pennies which were minted in the year 1909. The penny is a VDB penny i.e. Victor David Brenner. He was the person who designed the coin on the request of former U.S president Theodore Roosevelt.