Posted Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, at 5:12 PM
Curiosity is ready to live up to its name.
Mars' newest inhabitant has gone for its longest jog yet, and the Mars Curiosity rover is exercising its robotic arm in preparation for an arrival at so-called Glenelg, the first explorative destination of the rover’s two-year mission to search for signs of past life on our red neighbor. Curiosity did a little fancy footwork on the way to its next destination, taking a dogleg path to avoid some questionable terrain.
Though it only has one, the 7-foot, 150-pound appendage is one heck of a gun. Capable of lifting twice it's weight and equipped with prospecting tools and a nifty Swiss-Army-like gadget, the robotic arm also sports an extreme close-up camera for visual analysis and an X-ray spectrometer to examine the stuff it finds.
Meanwhile the ESA Mars Express spacecraft may have snapped photos showing signs of surface water at the Red Planet’s Hadley Crater. Curiosity might want to take a detour and head over there!
Video by Paca Thomas.