It has been seven years since NASA Curiosity landed over Mars, and since then, it has traveled a total of 13 miles (21 km) and ascended 1,207 feet (368 meters) to its current location. In July, Curiosity took detailed images of “Strathdon,” a rock made of dozens of sediment layers.
For several past months, Curiosity has been exploring a region called the “clay-bearing unit” within Gale Crater an area, located along the slope of Mount Sharp. The region is featured remnants of lakes and streams which now appear in the form of clay mineral deposits. Scientists are far more intrigued in looking for signs that Mars could have supported microbial life billions of years ago when rivers and lakes could be found in Gale Crater.
NASA Curiosity Rover is now halfway through the clay-bearing unit and the samples that the rover has drilled so far revealed the highest amounts of clay minerals found during the mission. NASA says by exploring this region, scientists are hoping to catch a glimpse of Mars’ ancient past. Billions of years ago, there were streams and lakes within the crater.
Recently, NASA’s rover came across a large rock named ‘Strathdon’ comprised of dozens of sedimentary layers. On July 9 NASA’s Curiosity, Mars rover took images using its Mast Camera, or Mastcam and a second photo were taken a day later with the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager.
Scientists anticipate that there are still incredible things yet to be discovered, and with the nuclear power system, Curiosity is still anticipated for more discoveries on the Red Planet.