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6 agosto 2015 4 06 /08 /agosto /2015 17:59

NASA’sMarsroverfoundwhat looks like the image of a Great Pyramid found back on Earth

 

 Curiosity Rover prepares to celebrate three years on Mars ...

www.mirror.co.uk › ... › Mars Curiosity rover -

 

Hace tres años, el 6 de agosto de 2012, el rover Curiosity de la NASA aterrizó sobre la superficie de Marte. Desde entonces, y a lo largo de casi 11 kilómetros, no ha dejado de tomar datos con sus diez instrumentos, uno de ellos español: la estación medioambiental REMS.

Entre los descubrimientos de la misión destaca la confirmación de que Marte tuvo ingredientes esenciales para la vida, como agua –que discurría por antiguos cauces–, nitrógeno, oxígeno y carbono, además de encontrar compuestos orgánicos en las rocas.

Curiosity también ha detectado metano en la fina atmósfera marciana, y unos niveles de radiación que suponen un riesgo para las tripulaciones que se preparan para viajar al planeta rojo. De momento el rover sigue operando en el entorno del cráter Gale.

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Curiouser and curiouser: The Rover in action

NASA is preparing to celebrate the third anniversary of the Curiosity Rover's arrival on Mars.

On August 6 2012 at about five in the morning GMT, the plucky craft touched down on the surface of the Red Plant and began its quest to find life.

Since then, the rover has trundled for a total of 11 miles, performing experiments along the way.

Although it has not yet found the smoking gun which finally proves Mars once teemed with life, it drilled samples from the floor of an ancient lake called Yellowknife Bay, revealing evidence it held water.

 

ReutersMartian mountains: The base of Mars' Mount Sharp
Martian mountains: The base of Mars' Mount Sharp

 

It also found organic molecules and nitrogen in a form which is "usable to life".

"If life ever were present on Mars, a site like Yellowknife Bay could sustain it," said Ashwin Vasavada, project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory.

After digging in Yellowknife, the Rover then put "pedal to metal" for a trip to the base of Mount Sharp, a hill within the Gale Crater, where it also found evidence of ancient water.

"It's likely that Gale Crater once hosted many rivers and lakes, carrying sediment to the crater floor that now forms the bottom layer of Mount Sharp," Vasavada added.

"It’s been quite a road trip."

 

AFPMars
This NASA image released August 9, 2012 shows first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA's Curiosity rover on August 8, 2012

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Vasavada said the past few months had been truly momentous for NASA.

"It's a summer of milestones for Mars exploration," he said.

"Fifty years ago, Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to take close-up pictures of Mars.

"Thirty-nine years ago, the Viking 1 Lander became the first spacecraft to successfully land on the Red Planet.

"And now, Curiosity celebrates 3 years on Mars -- operating well over a thousand Martian days."

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The Rover has beamed back all sorts of images which have caused excitement among conspiracy fans, including this snap of a "pyramid", an image of an "alien skeleton" and another of a weird "space crab".

But although denizens of the internet's wilder corners said these photos were unequivocal proof of life on Mars, the scientific community has remained unmoved.

Sadly, we have yet to discover whether any living being once called Mars home.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/curiosity-rover-prepares-celebrate-three-6198147

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