Another space mission is almost upon us as the Curiosity rover gets ready to lift on into space on a mission that will take the robot to the planet Mars on Saturday. NASA have said that this their latest Mars rover will be sent to look for evidence of life on the Red Planet, and it will provide a picture of what might have happened on the Red Planet.
There are questions that scientists want answers for, one pressing interest for scientists is whether the planet does have water and therefore life. This and many other questions will be answered in once the Mars rover touches down on the alien surface.
The exploration has been called the Mars Science Laboratory mission and it will start on Saturday taking a 570-million-kilometre journey which will bring Curiosity to its arrival point in the autumn of next year.
According to Kevin Nolan, a lecturer in physics at the institute of Technology Tallaght, there is nothing that is normal about the mission and he would know since he has even written a book on the subject.
What works to the advantage of these scientists is that the rover is the most complex planetary one ever built, and it will be dropped into the Gale crater on top of a tiny patch that is no more than 20km across and this constitutes an fantastic piece of flying completed with a high level of precision.
The rover also contains the most powerful selection of experiments that have been created for this rover or any other rover that was created before. The camera that has been installed on to the robot is so powerful that it is sensitive enough to see objects which are the width of the average human hand from over a kilometre away and can also see even smaller images which measure down to 12 millionths of a metre. The rover is also carrying a very strong laser that can be used if needed to arrest vaporise any rocks that may be in the machines part.
Just because the rover has been built by built by NASA it doesn’t mean it is closed to other suggestions, as such it will also be carrying experiments which have been provided by Russian and Spanish scientists. It is good to see all countries coming together and working for a similar cause. It is hoped that by taking this step water may be discovered, and where there is life too.