We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

lively on mars

'The far frontier': NASA Curiosity rover makes it to Martian mountain

“The scientific sequel is upon us.”

NASA’S $2.5 BILLION Curiosity rover has reached the base of the Martian mountain it aims to explore and should start drilling rocks there soon, US space agency scientists said today.

The biggest Mars rover ever made landed on the Red Planet in August 2012 after a dramatic touchdown, with the goal of exploring the terrain for traces that life may once have existed.

“We have finally arrived at the far frontier that we have sought for so long,” said John Grotzinger, Curiosity project scientist at the California Institute of Technology.

The vehicle is now at the base of Mount Sharp and will start climbing in the coming days, with the aim of drilling into a gray-green colored rock in the next couple of weeks, he said.

“The scientific sequel is upon us,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division.

The rover will take a slightly more direct route from the base than initially planned, after its wheels were damaged last year by sharp rocks on the Martian surface that poked holes in four of the vehicle’s six wheels.

“This damage accelerated the rate of wear and tear beyond that for which the rover team had planned. In response, the team altered the rover’s route to a milder terrain,” NASA said in a statement.

Read: NASA aims to produce oxygen on Mars with 2020 rover experiment>

Here’s how to keep up to date with all things space-related>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.