COM 1301, Section 05 October, 9th 2012 Mars Search Laboratory (MSL) Life on earth is getting more and more difficult, earth is overpopulated and global warming is treating our existence on earth every day. Living on another planet is on the solution that may pop out in our mind, this solution is what a space rover is trying to answer. In exactly one month and three days ago, a high technology rover lander on Mars, for those who did not hear about it let me show you some pictures (showing pictures to the audience), the rover is about 1000kg and a car size.
Curiosity is special because it process information for itself and then sends the result back to earth. Two main objectives of Mars are
- 1. Discover traces of past life.
- 2. Analyze Mars habitability It is difficult not to get excited about NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, it’s the most ambitious exploration vehicle yet sent to Mars.
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While there is no liquid water on the surface of Mars today, the record of past water activity on Mars can be found in the rocks, minerals, and geologic landforms, particularly in those that can only form in the presence of water. That's why the rover is specially equipped with tools to study a diverse collection of rocks and soils that may hold clues to past water activity on Mars. Project scientist Grokzinger says: “Curiosity is not a life detection mission. We are not actually looking for life, we don’t have the ability to detect life if it was there. But let me show you something (shows picture of river ) this river is located in Spain, it reaches high temperatures about 40°C and it’s very acidic, it has a Ph about 2, knowing that the Ph scale goes from 0 to 14 from the most acidic to the least acidic. Well, surprisingly this river holds life! Scientists have recently taken a sample from this water and discover bacteria in it! This can be the absolute evidence that life can emerge from extreme conditions.
A part from discovering traces of past life, the other mission of Curiosity is to identify if Mars can be a shelter of life, Mars Science Laboratory is equipped with an instrument that measures the level of radiation. This will be critical to put a man on Mars and determine the type of protection. At last but not least, Scientists expect from Curiosity a major discovery, it involves analyzing rocks of the landing area, hoping to discover traces of past life and analyzing Mars habitability.
To conclude let me show you the latest picture received from the rover (showing picture: trace of robot step) as you may see, this is a trace of the robot on the sandy surface of Mars, this is a small trace of a robot, a giant leap of mankind, Thank you.
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