The NASA Mars Curiosity rover. (Photo : NASA)
It's been 13 days since the Curiosity rover touched down on Martian soil and now scientists and engineers at NASA are ready to give the rover its first relatively extensive test drive.
NASA released a report stating that the rover would soon trek its way up to "Glenelg" which is located approximately 400 meters (1,300) east-southeast of its landing site and according to the release is a "natural intersection of three kinds of terrain."
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After arriving to this destination, the rover will proceed in drilling Martian rock first the first time ever in Mars exploration history and it'll attempt to obtain rock samples of the layered bedrock there.
The team in charge of driving the six-wheeled robotic vehicle is currently planning, turn by turn, the rover's trajectory to the site and is yet to reveal when the rover will initiate this first mission and by when it'll arrive to the selected destination.
Curiosity Will Test Its High-Powered Laser
Although Curiosity is no Michael Phelps, it'll be writing history three times in the same expedition as it not only departs on its first test drive, but also perform as mentioned before the first Martian rock drilling ever and finally zap the red planet with its high powered laser for the first time, in history.
The zapping will take place on the night of August 18 and what NASA had to say about these plans is the following:
"Prior to the rover's trip to Glenelg, the team in charge of Curiosity's Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, is planning to give their mast-mounted, rock-zapping laser and telescope combination a thorough checkout. ... It will be the first time such a powerful laser has been used on the surface of another world."
Curiosity arrived to Mars on August 5, 10:31:45 p.m. PDT and its mission is expected to last 23 months.