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Curiosity Rover of NASA Snaps its Last Selfie on Martian Ridge

Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012, was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes

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The rover is currently keeping its
The rover is currently keeping its "eyes" on a dust event that had gone global by June 20. Flickr

After spending more than a year on a twisting ridge on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover has snapped its last selfie as it moves on to new sights on the Red Planet.

“Curiosity rover has taken its last selfie on the Vera Rubin Ridge and descended toward a clay region of Mount Sharp. The twisting ridge on Mars has been the rover’s home for more than a year, providing scientists with new samples and new questions to puzzle over,” NASA said in a statement on Monday.

On January 15, Curiosity used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the end of its robotic arm to take a series of 57 pictures, which were stitched together into the selfie.

The images feature a location on the ridge called Rock Hall, which the rover drilled on December 15.

The Rock Hall drill hole is visible to the lower left of the rover; the scene is dustier than usual at this time of the year due to a regional dust storm.

TESS, rover, opportunity
NASA Curiosity rover has completed 6 years on Mars. Pixabay

Curiosity has been exploring the ridge since September 2017.

It is now heading into the “clay-bearing unit”, which sits in a trough just south of the ridge.

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Clay minerals in this unit may hold more clues about the ancient lakes that helped form the lower levels on Mount Sharp, NASA said.

Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012, was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet’s “habitability”. (IANS)

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NASA Reveals First Person on Mars ‘is Likely to be a Woman’

NASA has come a long way since 1978, when the first six women joined NASA's astronaut corps

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NASA, mars
NASA will also have its first all-female spacewalk at the end of the month, when astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will get to float around in space. The spacewalk will last about seven hours, according to the US space agency. Pixabay

The first person on Mars is ‘likely to be a woman’, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said.

“It’s likely to be a woman, the first next person on the Moon. It’s also true that the first person on Mars is likely to be a woman,” CNN cited Bridenstine as saying on a science and technology radio talk show “Science Friday”.

The NASA administrator did not identify a specific person but said women are at the forefront of the agency’s upcoming plans.

NASA will also have its first all-female spacewalk at the end of the month, when astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will get to float around in space. The spacewalk will last about seven hours, according to the US space agency.

NASA, mars
NASA has come a long way since 1978, when the first six women joined NASA’s astronaut corps. Currently, women comprise 34 per cent of its active astronauts, according to the agency. Pixabay

“So these are great days. We have the first all-female spacewalk happening this month at the end of March, which is of course, National Women’s Month,” Bridenstine said.

Both McClain and Koch were part of the 2013 astronaut class, half of which were women. They came from the second largest applicant pool NASA has ever received — more than 6,100. The most recent class of flight directors was also 50 per cent women, NASA said.

 

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NASA has come a long way since 1978, when the first six women joined NASA’s astronaut corps. Currently, women comprise 34 per cent of its active astronauts, according to the agency.

“NASA is committed to making sure we have a broad and diverse set of talent and we’re looking forward to the first woman on the moon,” Bridenstine said. (IANS)