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10 Things You Should Know About NASA’s Mars Rover

NASA is now taking the exploration at Mars to a whole new level via the Mars Rover named curiosity that apparently weighs a full ton and is a giant, scientifically armed, robot. The prime purpose of the the robotic beast will obviously be to detect new life, or possibilities of having life at the red planet. Also, it will to detect whether life ever existed on the planet or was is it just wishful thinking on or part.

Curiosity is going to stay up for quite a while and I guess we will have to wait for the results to know whether or not we have any organic siblings. Till then let me give you a brief collection to trivia regarding the rover.

The Seventh Slice through the Martian Atmosphere


Curiosity is the seventh machine that sliced through the atmosphere at Mars at a speed of 13000 mph. Attempts have been made by other countries as well but most of them were in vain.

The Seven Minutes of Terror


Interesting to know that being the seventh machine to land Mars, it took seven horrible minutes for the Mars rover Curiosity to land onto the surface and give the earthlings a chance to see a touch down onto the surface of our neighbouring planet.

It was named by a Sixth Grader


Mars Science Laboratory, which is the name given to Curiosity, was selected by Nasa from a science competition. The name was thus an original by a sixth grader.

The Expense overload on the Rover


The rover was supposed to be finished by 2009 and had to have landed by 2010. However, some developmental delays interrupted the initial time line and the cost of the rover jumped a billion dollars over the initial estimate. Phew – now that is a major technological investment.

The weight of the rover


You know how they idiomatically say that something weighs a ton, well the curiosity Rover actually, in its whole entirety, weigh a ton! Isn’t that massive!

It is slow

Mars Curiosity rover tests soil scooping system

Now that the rover as landed on the planet, it is said that during its whole stay at Mars, it will only travel like 12 miles at a speed of 0.00073 mph.! That is slow!

Powered by Nuclear Energy


Apparently Nasa did not trust the sun to much which is why the rover is powered by nuclear energy, a stock enough to last it as long as 14 years although its estimated is stay is only 23 months!

The computers on the rover are less powerful than an Iphone 4s

Jennifer Trosper with a model of the Curiosity Mars rover

Well some might say that the computers on the rover are very meaner in comparison too Apples smart phones, but that is quite misleading since the computers that are onboard the Rover, which the engineers at Nasa took years to perfect, are radiation savvy. The rover has several of these handy incase one fails.

Curiosity will search for ingredients to life, not life itself


The rover isn’t capable of finding life itself on the red planet, just the indications whether life does or does not, can or cannot, exist on the planet!

The lost JetPack Lander


It is interesting to note, that the jetpack lander that helped the rover to land on the ground is no where to be found! Nasa maintains that this was exactly the plan since they did not want the jetpack lander to pollute the environment for the rover! Sneaky I say!

Author Zehra Farooq

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