This is the kind of news science fiction author Ray Bradbury would have appreciated if he had been alive today.
Curiosity has begun driving from its landing site, which scientists announced they have named for the late author Ray Bradbury who died earlier
Making its first movement on the Martian surface, Curiosity's drive combined forward, turn and reverse segments. This placed the rover roughly
20 feet (6 meters) from the spot where it landed 16 days ago.
NASA has approved the Curiosity science team's choice to name the landing ground for the influential author, who was born 92 years ago today and
died this year. The location where Curiosity touched down is now called Bradbury Landing.
"This was not a difficult choice for the science team," said Michael Meyer, NASA program scientist for Curiosity.
"Many of us and millions of other readers were inspired in our lives by stories Ray Bradbury wrote to dream of the possibility of life on Mars."
Bradbury, whose works include "The Martian Chronicles," "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Illustrated Man," inspired readers to think about Mars in new ways,
'The Martian Chronicles' have inspired our curiosity and opened our minds to the possibility of life on Mars," Meyer also said.
Ray Bradbury, famous science fiction author died earlier this year.
After two weeks of taking stock of its surroundings, the Mars Curiosity rover has taken its first "baby steps"
and sent back images of its first tracks, NASA officials said Wednesday.
Scientists have been able to the health of Curiosity's mobility system and produced the rover's
first wheel tracks on Mars, documented in images taken after the drive.
During a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the mission's lead rover driver,
Matt Heverly, showed an animation derived from visualization software used for planning the first drive.
"We have a fully functioning mobility system with lots of amazing exploration ahead," Heverly said.
Click on image to enlarge
This panorama shows the tire tracks from Curiosity's first test drive. On Aug. 22, 2012, the rover made its first move, going forward about 15 feet (4.5 meters), rotating 120 degrees and then reversing about 8 feet (2.5 meters).
Curiosity is about 20 feet (6 meters) from its landing site, now named Bradbury Landing. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Curiosity will spend several more days of working beside Bradbury Landing, performing instrument checks and studying the surroundings,
before embarking toward its first driving destination approximately 1,300 feet (400 meters) to the east-southeast.
Click on image to enlarge
This image shows the tracks left by NASA's Curiosity rover on Aug. 22, 2012, as it completed its first test drive on Mars.
The rover went forward 15 feet (4.5 meters), rotated 120 degrees and then reversed 8.2 feet (2.5 meters). Curiosity is now 20 feet (6 meters) from its landing site, named Bradbury Landing.
This image was taken by a front Hazard-Avoidance camera, which has a fisheye lens.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
"Curiosity is a much more complex vehicle than earlier Mars rovers. The testing and characterization activities during the initial weeks of the mission lay important groundwork for operating our precious national resource
with appropriate care," said Curiosity Project Manager Pete Theisinger of JPL.
"Sixteen days in, we are making excellent progress."
According to lead rover over driver Matt Heverly, the tracks in the Martian soil indicate,
as expected, that the soil is firm. It didn't cause the rover to sink much and should be good for moving around in.
“We should have smooth sailing ahead of us,” Heverly said.
Curiosity is set to start driving to its first potential drill target within several days.
That spot is called
Glenelg, some 1,300 feet east-southeast of the landing site.
Extraterrestrial Life Is A Censored Subject Says Famous Professor
It is not often scientists are willing to openly discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
According to a famous astronomy professor there is a reason why a majority of scientists avoid the subject - it is censored!
Even though the general public embraces ideas of extraterrestrial life, science is expected to shun this subject no
matter how strong the evidence, albeit through a conspiracy of silence.