Curiosity, NASA's new rover on Mars, landed six weeks ago. The MINI Cooper-sized rover immediately began taking pictures and moving about. It even sent a song back to earth.
At a Sept. 19 press conference NASA gave an update on the rover and it's near-term science plans.
It plans to do its first "contact science" on a rock mission scientists have named Jake Matijevic, in honor of a deceased project engineer. It's continuing its path toward Glenelg, a region of unusual geography. And it is busily photographing the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, as they pass in front of the sun in partial solar eclipses. Like our moon, Phobos and Deimos pull on Mars with a tidal force. They change its shape slightly and astronomers are studying those slight shifts to learn about the internal structure of Mars. (Images: Courtesy of NASA/Mars Science Laboratory.)
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