It is six years since Mar’s rover curiosity began its journey on the Martian planet. Curiosity has completed it six mile journey to the base of Mount Sharp. Its next journey is to ascend the mountain and perform scientific experiments on the way.
Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division said, “The next phase of research on Mars can begin. We have finally arrived at the far frontier that we have sought for so long.”
NASA scientists who in their original plan had not given the rover a life beyond 90 days are overjoyed by the huge wealth of data which was sent by Curiosity. The rover had discovered evidence of an ancient water flow. The mission has been extended multiple times and has completed two years. It is getting ready to start the scientific research that has been the core of its mission.
The Curiosity marathon trek has been the fastest and also the longest by any Rover anywhere in space. Its feats pale the achievements which other Rovers had made on the Red Planet. Curiosity’s precursor, the Mars rover Opportunity, which is still working on the Red Planet, 1,000 days to make a 13-mile trip
John Grotzinger, Curiosity’s project scientist said, “You accept the risk of a long drive. Curiosity had to survive a long grueling drive to arrive at the frontier where we could begin the main phase of our mission. We have arrived and have delivered the vehicle to this exciting science place. This is a great moment for us. The science is all in front of us… but we should be celebrating the engineering accomplishments of this mission.”
The rover now sits at the base of Mount Sharp before it begins its slow trek up the mountain. It will go by a new route instead of the earlier one.