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Transcript of Mars Rovers
-The first successful mars mission was completed by the US in 1964 and was a flyby. The flight returned 21 images of Mars. The name of the mission was Mariner 4.
- 1975 marked the first successful landing on mars, the name of the lander was Viking 1. This successful landing proved to people that you could land on mars. Purpose To many people it seems like sending a multi-million "robot" to another planet seems like a waste of money, but to others it's something they are very passionate about. The people who sent the rovers to Mars wanted questions answered, is there life on Mars? How was Mars formed? Can we send people to Mars? Can we live on Mars? What is the weather like on Mars? Curiosity The Curiosity rover was launched on November 26th 2011 and landed safely on Mars on August 5th 2012. This rover was much bigger than any previous spacecraft of the like weighing nearly 2,000 pounds. A new way of landing the rover was needed because Curiosity is so much bigger than any previous rover. It used jet thrusters and a parachute to slow itself because the previous method using airbags would not bring it to Mars safely. Because of its tremendous size, Curiosity would be able to explore the Gale Crater on Mars, a feat that had never been attempted before. The crater is 154 kilometers in diameter and has peaks taller that Mt. Rainier. Curiosity is truly a scientific achievement due to its mobility, versatility, and complexity. Future missions In the future, missions may entail subsurface exploration, using airplanes or balloons, and bringing Martian samples back to earth. The airplanes would bring us a new perspective to be able to see the planet from the sky. We do not have anything orbiting Mars currently. We have also never been underground on Mars and doing so would allow us to know more about the geology and habitat. Also, returning samples would allow us to examine the rocks and soil better and have more knowledge about whether there was ever life on Mars. I am unsure if there are plans or if it is even possible, but I would like them to explore Olympus Mons, the highest peak in our solar system standing nearly 22 kilometers high. Discoveries Many great discoveries about Mars and space in general have been made because of the numerous missions to Mars. The Curiosity rover has already found a once habitable environment in the Gale Crater. NASA has found chemicals in the rocks that suggest Mars may have once supported life. More findings suggest that there was once relatively fresh water flowing in the Gale Crater, the radiation levels on the surface of Mars may make conditions unsafe for explorers, and the dust may have volcanic origins. Video First picture of mars, taken by the Mariner 4 The mars rover Spirit was launched on June 10Th, 2003 with the rover Opportunity following shortly after on July 7Th, 2003. On the Rovers... This is the first drill hole into a martian rock. Top view of the solar cells on Spirit's 'wings'. The solar cells on the rover can produce around 410 watt-hour per martian sol. (per martian day) One of the four main instruments on the rover, this is the rock abrasion tool or RAT for short. It is used to grind rocks and then the rock is brushed off to be prepared for scientific examination. How opportunity landed Picture on the "rockiest place on Mars" the right side is what it would look like on earth.