Mars Rover Curiosity

(Photo Credit: NASA)

Mars rover Opportunity will be joined by a companion in August. The rover Curiosity is on its way to Mars and will look for signs of life on the planet. In contrast to what we saw before as little golf cart size rovers, rover Curiosity is 1,900 pounds in weight and has a seven foot arm reach. The computer system surpasses the previous model of rover by leaps and bounds. The planned mission life of this rover is about a year,  but who knows how long it will really last, considering the previous rover lasted seven years when it was given 90 days. So, what is Curiosity so curious about? NASA is taking a step by step approach to find out if there is life on Mars. It is certain that Mars had a warmer and wetter past. That opens the possibility that there could have been life of some type. This rover’s job is to confirm that there is an environment or that there was an environment conducive to life. If you would like to see Mars with your own telescope visit the Franklin Institute next week for a workshop where you’ll build one. Also, don’t miss what’s in the night sky this week. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.[audio: st20111128.mp3]

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