Thursday, August 30, 2012

NASA Mars Curiosity rover starts rolling to Glenelg Intrigue - latimes.com

NASA Mars Curiosity rover starts rolling to Glenelg Intrigue - latimes.com: "NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover is on the move toward a key point of interest -- a spot about a quarter-mile southeast of its landing site that may become the rover’s first drill target.

That spot, called Glenelg Intrigue, lies at the confluence of three different types of terrain -- and scientists working on the Mars Science Laboratory mission plan to use Curiosity to investigate what sort of geological history brings such different types of rocky material together.

One of the three types, which looks to be layered bedrock, is likely to be a potential target for the rover's drill, a tool that can bore into rock in order to take samples and analyze them in the robot's chemical belly.

The rover set out Tuesday, covering 52 feet eastward. The trip to Glenelg would be the rover’s first extended driving journey: previous rover drives lasted a matter of several feet."