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Curiosity reaches Mount Sharp

Curiosity rover on Mars
Curiosity reaches Mount Sharp

Curiosity rover landed on Mars back in August 2012 and is one of mankind’s greatest space achievements to date.

Now, two years later, the rover has finally reached a mountain named Mount Sharp, and the real work can begin.

Mount Sharp, estimated to be 5km high, was chosen to be studied because of its interesting slopes.

Scientists hope the mountain’s slopes will provide a glimpse into the history of Mars, and answer the question of whether the Mars was once habitable.

Crossing 9km of harsh Martian surface, Curiosity is finally ready to begin exploring, “Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from an already outstanding introduction to the world,” said Jim Green.

“After a historic and innovative landing along with its successful science discoveries, the scientific sequel is upon us.”

In a recent review of 7 NASA planetary missions Curiosity came last.

With a NASA panel stating that Curiosity ‘lacked specific scientific questions and testable hypotheses’ for the next two years.

Reviewers said the Curiosity team thought they were ‘too big to fail’, because of the estimated $2.5 billion spent on the rover.

Curiosity is now positioned at the area between the crater and the mountain, where the terrain will become much harder.

This entry point is where the mountain’s base layer meets the crater floor, and where scientists hope to make a discovery.

Despite criticism from the panel, Curiosity’s mission has been a success.

In year one of operations it determined that Mars once had favourable conditions for microbial life, because of evidence of an ancient lake.

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Curiosity reaches Mount Sharp

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