NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will be skip drilling for the time being and proceed to the Mount Sharp on the Martian Planet. Curiosity rover’s operators have deemed the potential drilling target unstable and hence asked the rover to proceed to Mount Sharp.
Mount Sharp is a huge Red Planet mountain and extends 5 kilometers high from the centre of Gale’s Crater.
Earlier the Mars Rover scientific team was planning to drill a Mars rock named Bonanza King but later shelved the idea after they found the stone not stable enough.
Curiosity project manager Jim Erickson, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement, “We have decided that the rocks under consideration for drilling, based on the tests we did, are not good candidates for drilling. Instead of drilling here, we will resume driving toward Mount Sharp.”
Mission scientists have decided to send the Rover into its long arduous trek to Mount Sharp which rises more than 3 miles into the sky. Mission controllers want the 1 ton Rover to climb up through the mountain’s foothill. The rover will climb unraveling the mystery of the planet’s changing environmental conditions
The 1 ton curiosity rover has been steadily moving towards Mount Sharp since July last year. The rover has to still transverse more than 2 miles before it can reach the targeted entry points. Curiosity will reach there by the end of this year. The road to Mount Sharp is very rugged and is taking a heavy toll on the rover’s metallic wheels. The mission control is searching a less tortuous route. Earlier mission control had sent the rover into a less tortuous route through Gale Crater. However the route was too sandy and the rover was left with no other option but to search for a less tortuous.
Curiosity rover has been drilling since it touched down on the Red planet in August 2012. The analysis of the drilled contents has revealed that the region near the landing site of the rover was a lake-and-stream system that could have supported microbial life billions of years ago.