Rover Curiosity in the Flesh

Space has become (or at least it will become) obsolete by the end of the year. Bored of flying to the lower orbit and back, humankind will once again turn its attention to the other bodies inhabiting our solar system, with special emphasis to be placed on two of them: the Moon and Mars.

A return to the Moon is scheduled by the end of the decade, while the first man should set his foot on the reddish Martian soil sometime by 2025. Until then, however, some additional research must be conducted so that when man does set his foot on Mars, he doesn't get it chopped off by an evil alien with an ax.

The lead investigator of the Martian soil, the new-generation Mars Rover, is currently being assembled in preparation for the launch in between November 25 and December 18, 2011, of an unmanned mission to Mars.

Called Curiosity, the new-generation space car is shown in the adjacent photo pretty much as it will look in real life. Measuring 3 meters (10 feet) in length, the Curiosity will travel over the Martian dust using six wheels.

Having already been tested in a chamber which emulates the conditions the rover will meet on Mars, the vehicle is now getting the final touches to get it ready for the mission. A mission which will see it engage in a search for life on a selected area of Mars.

To do that, Curiosity will use Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) tool, which will allow it to shoot laser beams at rocks and identify the chemical elements in the target.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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