This image was taken by the high resolution camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft built by Nasa that orbits Mars every 35.5 hours. The metallic object in the image is the Curiosity Rover while it makes it way through the Gale Crater.
NASA’s mission objective for the Curiosity Rover, a large mobile science laboratory on wheels:
Investigate whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and for preserving clues in the rocks about possible past life. (www.nasa.gov)
The mission objective of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched August 12, 2005, is on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. While other Mars missions have shown that water flowed across the surface in Mars’ history, it remains a mystery whether water was ever around long enough to provide a habitat for life.
Very cool stuff. Every time NASA sends a new rover to Mars, they improve the design and capabilities significantly. Since the novel landing process of the 899kg Curiosity Rover was successful, it’s realistic for NASA to send bigger, heavier rovers in the future. Very exciting stuff.