Skip to main content

After the Curiosity Rover alighted at Bradbury Landing last year, carrying the Mars Science Laboratory, all of its operations have taken place less than one kilometer from the landing site. Already, the mission has delivered electrifying science, discovering an ancient Mars with running streams and still ponds, with all of the conditions and ingredients needed for microbial life. But that is only the beginning.

NASA reports:

Curiosity is finishing investigations in an area smaller than a football field where it has been working for six months, and it will soon shift to a distance-driving mode headed for an area about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away, at the base of Mount Sharp.
What lies ahead for the Curiosity mission is not a destination, but a journey of exploration. Jim Erickson, the Project Manager, explained:
"We don't know when we'll get to Mount Sharp," Erickson said. "This truly is a mission of exploration, so just because our end goal is Mount Sharp doesn't mean we're not going to investigate interesting features along the way."

Images of Mount Sharp taken from orbit and images Curiosity has taken from a distance reveal many layers where scientists anticipate finding evidence about how the ancient Martian environment changed and evolved.

We know a lot about Mars' thin atmosphere and cold, arid surface today. We're learning more and more about Mars' warmer, wetter denser atmosphere in the past. The trip to Mount Sharp may yield a lot of information about how warm, wet ancient Mars became the Mars of today.

Inasmuch as humanity has proven capable of changing climate on a global scale, it seems to me more urgent than ever to learn as much as possible about processes affecting planetary evolution. All hail Jim Erickson and his team of hero scientists and engineers at JPL.

For all of my Mars diaries and all things Mars on Daily Kos, go to Kossacks on Mars.

Originally posted to Kossacks on Mars on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 06:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Astro Kos and SciTech.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site