Tuesday 16 October 2018

Nasa’s Mars rover Curiosity marks ‘2,000 days’ on red planet

A Martian sol, or solar day, is equivalent to 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds.

This image assembled from a series of photos made by the Mars Curiosity rover shows an uphill view of Mount Sharp (Nasa/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via AP)
This image assembled from a series of photos made by the Mars Curiosity rover shows an uphill view of Mount Sharp (Nasa/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via AP)

By Marcia Dunn, Associated Press

Nasa’s Mars rover Curiosity has now marked 2,000 days on the red planet – by Martian standards.

A Martian sol, or solar day, is equivalent to 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds, so 2,000 days on Mars equals 2,055 days here on Earth.

Either way, it is a big milestone this week for scientists eager for Curiosity to begin drilling again, this time into potentially clay-rich rocks on the slopes of Mount Sharp.

The six-wheeled rover has been exploring Mars since 2012. Altogether, it has travelled 11.6 miles.

Flight controllers are testing a new drilling method.

Curiosity’s drill stopped working properly in 2016 and so engineers devised another way to bore into Martian rocks and get the pulverised rock samples into the rover’s lab instruments.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News