Curiosity Mars reaches region full of salty minerals: NASA to study whether there was water in the past

The Curiosity rover has been on Mars for a decade and has managed to collect a lot of useful information for space research during this entire time. NASA has confirmed that the rover has recently arrived A region located on the Sharp Mountains on Mars, characterized by being rich in salty minerals.

Experts speculate that the place is filled with salty minerals as it was billions of years ago. There could have been streams and ponds. If the scientists’ belief turns out to be correct, the remnants of minerals remaining in that region would provide clues as to how and why the Red Planet moved from a climate similar to Earth to a frozen desert.

Before Curiosity landed on Mars, NASA already knew these elements were present on Mount Sharp, thanks to the data it collected Mars Reconnaissance OrbiterAn artificial satellite that orbits a neighboring planet.

With the advent of Curiosity, scientists discovered that there were a wide variety of rocks and signs of past water. Some of them are salty minerals like magnesium sulfate, calcium sulfate You Sodium chloride,

Curiosity has created 36 drill holes using the drill on its robotic arm.
Curiosity has created 36 drill holes using the drill on its robotic arm.

To find evidence that Mars has harbored water in the past, Curiosity uses a rotary percussion drill or jackhammer Which sits at the end of its 2 meter robotic arm. With it, the rover powders rock samples and manages to analyze it to send more accurate information back to Earth.

Katya Zamora-Garcia, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explains its operation through one of the Martian rocks called ‘Canima’: “As we do before each exercise, We dust off and then puncture the upper surface of the canaima with a drill, A lack of marks, scratches or indentations was a sign thatWhich can be difficult to drill.”

It has been successfully tested.

The professional, who is the new manager of the Curiosity Mars project, recalls that “we stayed to consider whether this represented any risk to our arm”. Zamora-GarcĂ­a noted that he used A drilling algorithm they developed to reduce the use of percussion And, with their assessment, they found that it was not necessary to collide.

road to mount sharp

To reach its final destination, Curiosity had to navigate sandy terrain and the journey took more than a month. From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory they confirm that One of the wheels could get stuck because of the sandHence the meaning drivers had to navigate carefully.

One of the images captured by Curiosity's Mast Camera on Bolivar Hill on Mars.
One of the images captured by Curiosity’s Mast Camera on Bolivar Hill on Mars.

After rolling in hills full of hills, NASA was rewarded With new images of Mars.

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