View Full Version : Drilling at Unfathomable Alien Landscapes – All in a Day’s Work for Curiosity

2016-Sep-25, 04:00 AM
Our beyond magnificent Curiosity rover has just finished her latest drilling campaign - at the target called “Quela” - into the simply unfathomable alien landscapes she is currently exploring at the “Murray Buttes” region of lower Mount Sharp.
The “Murray Buttes” region is just chock full of the most stunning panoramic vistas that NASA’s Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory rover has come upon to date.
They fill the latest incredible chapter in her thus far four year long quest to trek many miles (km) from the Bradbury landing site along the floor of Gale Crater to reach the base region of humongous Mount Sharp.
And these adventures are just a prelude to the even more glorious vistas she’ll investigate from now on - as she climbs higher and higher on an expedition to thoroughly examine the mountains sedimentary layers and unravel billions and billions of years of Mars geologic and climatic history.
Drilling holes into Mars during the Red Planet trek and carefully analyzing the pulverized samples with the rovers pair of miniaturized chemistry laboratories is the route to the answer of how and why Mars changes for a warmer and wetter planet in the ancient past to the cold, dry and desolate world we see today.
The rock target named “Quella” is located at the base of one of the buttes dubbed “Murray Butte number 12,” according to that latest mission update from Prof. John Bridges, a Curiosity rover science team member from the University of Leicester, England.
Sol after Sol the daily imagery transmitted back to eager researchers on Earth reveala spectacularly layered Martian rock formations in such exquisite detail that they look and feel just like America’s desert Southwest landscapes.
“These are the landforms that dominate the landscape at this point in the traverse - The Murray Buttes,” says Bridges.
To give you the context of the of the Murray Buttes region and the drilling at Quela, the image processing team of Ken Kremer and Marco Di Lorenzo has begun stitching together wide angle mosaic landscape views and up close views of the drilling using raw images from a variety of the cameras at Curiosity’s disposal.
What are the Murray Buttes?
“These are formed by a cap of hard aeolian rock that has been partially eroded back, overlying the Murray mudstone.”
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2016-Oct-01, 05:47 PM
If Viking had landed near here, I cannot help but wonder if that may have pushed a Manned Mars trip earlier.