NASA’s Curiosity Rover Explores Mars
After a long journey and a complex and nerve-wracking landing, the SUV-size Curiosity is exploring Mars and making new discoveries every day. It is now scooping up dirt samples, using X-rays and lasers to identify the minerals in Martian soil. It is also starting to analyze the Martian air and will soon start drilling into rocks as it drives to a mountain that is almost three and a half miles high.
The one-ton Curiosity has been described as “a six-wheeled geochemistry lab and the most sophisticated machine ever sent to another planet.”
Updates on Curiosity are posted on the Mars Science Laboratory website and on Curiosity’s Twitter feed, @MarsCuriosity.
Dr. Grotzinger is a geologist who studies the early history of Earth and other planets. He is a professor of geology at the California Institute of Technology. Before moving to Caltech he was professor of earth sciences and director of the Earth Resources Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Among his honors and awards, he has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, received the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award, the Fred Donath Medal from the Geological Society of America, the Henno Martin Medal from the Geological Society of Namibia, and the Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal from the National Academy of Sciences