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Thread: Mars' Curiosity gets ready to take its first chemistry test

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    Default Mars' Curiosity gets ready to take its first chemistry test



    The Curiosity rover is now well on its way to its first major destination, a site called Glenelg that's only about 100m from its current position. On its drive, which it started over 50 sols (Martian days) ago, it has continued to check out its equipment, almost all of which seems to be working well. In its next test, planned for sometime over the next few days, the rover will start checking out its chemistry lab in preparation for analyzing the material it encounters in future drives.
    The system is comprised of a scoop at the end of its robotic arm, which can pick up loose material from Mars' surface and deposit it into a chamber in the rover's body. From there, the material can be sent on to on-board laboratory hardware, which actually performs the analysis. Conceptually, this is similar to the setup that operated on the Mars Phoenix Lander, which found evidence of perchlorates in soil from near one of the Martian poles. The system can also take input from a drill to allow it to sample solid rocks.
    Currently, the rover is at Rocknest, a site with (as you might expect) a set of rocks poking out of a sandy bed. Curiosity used one of its wheels to dig into the bed as shown above, confirming that the material is appropriate for accessing with the scoop. The goal is to run a couple of scoops through the sample-handling machinery in order to clear out any material that has gotten into it during the rover's travels to its current location. After two samples a run through, the third will actually be sent off to the different chemistry labs within the rover.
    The process will be slow, and personnel at the Jet Propulsion Lab don't expect the first samples to be analyzed for a couple of weeks. During that time, the rover will remain at the Rocknest formation.


    Mars’ Curiosity gets ready to take its first chemistry test | Ars Technica

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    Default Re: Mars' Curiosity gets ready to take its first chemistry test

    The most famous rover that has ever been sent to Mars is Opportunity which died in 2019 during dust storm. Checking today's news I realize how much space is already explored and how much we have to do to achieve our common goal - find another planet where we can live as on the Earth. In the past there were only 6 leadin countries in space industry. But now even the country that kept silence for the last decades has at leats one growing aerospace company like in the United Kingdom for example.

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