A Mars rover is an automated motor vehicle which propels itself across the surface of the planet Mars upon arrival. On January 24, 2014, NASA reported that current studies on the planet Mars by the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers will now be searching for evidence of ancient life; The search for evidence of habitability, taphonomy (related to fossils), and organic carbon on the planet Mars is now a primary NASA objective. See here
The 1-ton Curiosity rover has finished its drilling operations at a sandstone slab dubbed “Windjana,” successfully delivering collected samples to its onboard scientific instruments for analysis. The robot will soon resume the long drive toward the base of Mount Sharp, which has long been its ultimate destination, mission officials said. Read more here
In a related news, the NASA Curiosity rover that was thought to bring only cameras, sensors, and scientific equipment when it traveled to Mars in August 2012 may have brought along dozens of species of bacteria that originated on Earth, according to a new study. A study conducted by the American Society for Microbiology and published in the Nature science journal revealed that 377 strains of bacteria may have survived the sterilization process that the Curiosity rover endured before it was launched in an attempt to avoid contaminating the red planet. Read more here
Such is the mission of the Mars Rovers — until such time when it is possible for men to go stay in the planet for as long as it takes for a research mission, the Mars rovers will always be silent partners in science goal of discovering another planet for mankind to live.
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