NASA has started its interplanetary navigation of the Curiosity rover on the surface of the red planet, Mars.
The space center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, popularly known by its acronym as NASA, revealed that its test run on the Curiosity rover successfully guided the unmanned robotic vehicle to drive forward, turn and reverse, which transferred it in approximately six meters from its original landing spot.
Following several more trials on its remote systems, NASA now plans to drive the Curiosity rover around 400 meters southeast to proceed with its careful and systematic study of Mars.
Project manager Pete Theisinger said, “Curiosity is a much more complex vehicle than earlier Mars rovers. The testing and characterization activities during the initial weeks of the mission lay important groundwork for operating our precious national resource with appropriate care. Sixteen days in, we are making excellent progress.”
The American space center published images of the tracks from the rover to confirm its successful landing and official commencement of exploration.
Matt Heverly, the mission’s lead rover driver, said, “We have a fully functioning mobility system with lots of amazing exploration ahead.”
NASA will name the original landing site of the Curiosity rover after late sci-fi author Ray Bradbury and will get the name of “Bradbury Landing”.
Michael Meyer, NASA program scientist for Curiosity, said, “This was not a difficult choice for the science team. Many of us and millions of other readers were inspired in our lives by stories Ray Bradbury wrote to dream of the possibility of life on Mars.”
Source: The Sacramento Bee