Curiosity Is on the Move, Eager to Try Out Its Rock Drill for the First Time – Gallery

The rover drove some 79 meters, 259 feet in one day

Curiosity is on the move again and is now on its fourth day of non-stop trekking. Well, almost non-stop, Curiosity is easily distracted and it did make one stop to photograph some interesting rocks, like any kid with a new camera would.

The photos it shot of the Shaler rock formation are in the gallery below. Despite taking the scenic route, it's making good progress, Curiosity added 79 meters, 259 feet to its odometer over these four days.

Granted, it would have taken you a minute or so to walk 79 meters, even in rough terrain, but this is Mars after all. In total, Curiosity cruised 598 meters, 1962 feet since landing on Mars.

The rover is getting close to a bit of rough terrain, rougher than so far. It's approaching a lip that goes down about 20 inches, or half a meter, which, again, may not seem like much, but in a mission worth many billions of dollars, NASA is not taking any chances.

Curiosity left an outcrop dubbed Point Lake four Mars days ago. Before leaving there, it also "swallowed" a sample of soil it's been carrying since it left Rocknest last month.

The map plotting Curiosity's travels should make the entire journey clearer. The rover is headed towards an area dubbed Yellowknife Bay where it will get a chance to test its rock-powdering drill.

After that, it's a long drive southwest towards its long-term destination at the base of Mount Sharp, as you can see in the image provided by the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).


Curiosity's whereabouts (3 Images)

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