Not much has been seen about Mars rover Curiosity since the rover’s one-year anniversary (Earth year, that is) was celebrated by NASA early this month. That could be because Curiosity is currently cruising along on a months long journey across the Martian landscape.
The rover is on its way to the base of a mountain named Mount Sharp. There, researchers hope multiple uncovered layers will reveal more about Mars’ past environment. Curiosity is now setting driving records as it continues along its five-mile path to the mountain.
There isn’t much to report, but NASA this week still released an update on Curiosity’s progress. Though the rover only just hit its 1 kilometer milestone, its recent travels (including record driving distances) have now doubled that distance to 2 kilometers (1.25 miles). It also hasn’t fully abandoned its science mission during the road trip, recently analyzing a drilled rock powder sample it had been carrying for 75 days (Martian days).
Curiosity was also recently used to observe Mars moons Phobos and Deimos passing by each other in the Martian night sky. Researchers are hoping the footage can improve data on the moons’ orbits and densities. The full video of the moons passing can be seen below:
(Image courtesy NASA)