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Curiousity Rover Arrives at Mount Sharp

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posted on Sep, 12 2014 @ 09:39 AM
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After more than two years of roving almost 9 km (about 5.5 miles), the Curiosity rover has finally reached its general target destination of Mount Sharp (officially known as "Aeolis Mons").

There is still much roving to do around and up Mount Sharp, but mission planners considered the mountain, along with its walls and canyons of exposed strata, to be the prime target for the rover. The lines of strata (many of which may have been deposited by water) can help geologists investigate what mars was like over the billions of years that these deposits were laid down -- perhaps even during times when mars was a place that was mach more habitable for life.

Curiosity Reaches Mount Sharp to Look for Life's Niches

EDIT TO ADD:
Mission planners have also recently revised the path of the rover's planned initial investigation of the mountain. Based on information they have learned about the topography, they will be heading up the mountain a bit sooner than planned (up a place named 'Pahrump Hills"), but still passing near to the originally-planned entry point "Murray Buttes". This new route still takes them through areas of deposits that seem to have been washed down from the mountain.


Curiosity’s trek up the mountain will begin with an examination of the mountain's lower slopes. The rover is starting this process at an entry point near an outcrop called Pahrump Hills, rather than continuing on to the previously-planned, further entry point known as Murray Buttes. Both entry points lay along a boundary where the southern base layer of the mountain meets crater-floor deposits washed down from the crater’s northern rim.

"It has been a long but historic journey to this Martian mountain,” said Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “The nature of the terrain at Pahrump Hills and just beyond it is a better place than Murray Buttes to learn about the significance of this contact. The exposures at the contact are better due to greater topographic relief."




NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain




edit on 9/12/2014 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 12 2014 @ 11:06 PM
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Fantastic! I'm excited to see the new findings that Curiosity will bring us. Perhaps some evidence of microbial life?

Just throwing this out there: even though human spaceflight is entirely more expensive and complex, having some boots on the ground on Mars would allow much more exploration and science to be done in a much quicker manner.

Food for thought.



posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 02:37 AM
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Is it just me or did they blur something out in the photo... in the video she starts by pointing strait at it... lol.



edit to add...

Yep! definitely blurred lol...


edit on 13-9-2014 by pianopraze because: added photo



posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 02:40 AM
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I love how scientists always qualify their statements with: "our study is only just beginning"...

Job security at it's finest...lol



posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 04:06 AM
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a reply to: pianopraze



Yep! definitely blurred lol...

Nope. Definitely a pile of dust. Just like many others.
mars.jpl.nasa.gov...
edit on 9/13/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 06:03 AM
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I guess this headline is akin to the "Voyager has left the Solar System" headline - it's debatable and is based on arbitrary factors. (The Voyager hasn't even reached Sedna's average distance from the Sun)

It might be another year before Curiosity is actually climbing the slopes of Mt Sharp.

However, every little headline-worth achievement helps, even if Curiosity has only reached the very edges of Mt Sharp's outlying slopes.



posted on Sep, 13 2014 @ 06:20 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

Yes, they are taking liberties with the exact boundary of what they are calling Mount Sharpe. Lots of sandy areas ahead, and the Rover actually hasn't entered the Buttes as yet. I'm not sure if mountains on Earth are measured this way, with their vast outlying edges defined as part of the mountain themselves.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 09:39 PM
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I found this interesting rock in PIA 18473 files.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 10:10 PM
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originally posted by: wildespace
I guess this headline is akin to the "Voyager has left the Solar System" headline - it's debatable and is based on arbitrary factors. (The Voyager hasn't even reached Sedna's average distance from the Sun)

It might be another year before Curiosity is actually climbing the slopes of Mt Sharp.

However, every little headline-worth achievement helps, even if Curiosity has only reached the very edges of Mt Sharp's outlying slopes.


I think Voyager leaves the Solar system every 6 months these days...
edit on 16-9-2014 by Xeven because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 10:37 PM
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This is what she is trying to hide with her hand:

a reply to: pianopraze



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 10:44 PM
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This is what can be seen in the pile of dust. Resized to 800% with Photozoom Pro and also flipped:

a reply to: Phage


edit on 16-9-2014 by vancliff because: I forgot to mention i also flipped the picture.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 01:19 AM
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Ahh.. Nasa dust is very common around there and it pretty much obscures anything it 'lands' on. It is strange how thes sand dunes and dust deposits appear in the middle of nowhere and when the wind is so variable too.



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