On the first anniversary of its landing, halfway through its primary mission to Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover still has a long way to go.
To be exact, 4.4 miles. That is the distance to the foothills of Mount Sharp, an 18,000-foot mountain whose rocks could provide clues to a time on Mars when life could have thrived.
Because Curiosity is driving at a careful pace — up to 100 yards a day — the journey will take eight or nine months.
For now, science is secondary as Curiosity crawls across a barren, largely uninteresting landscape. “Pretty much pure driving, pedal to the metal,” said John P. Grotzinger, the mission’s project scientist.
An interactive feature offers a chronology of where Curiosity has been and what it has done so far; new images and information will be added as the rover progresses.
According to NASA, Curiosity has already traveled more than a mile, taken more than 36,700 images and fired 75,000 laser shots to analyze rocks and soil.
Written By: Kenneth Changcontinue to source article at nytimes.com