To continue our countdown to the Curiosity rover’s touchdown on the Martian surface, here’s a look back at some of the previous missions to the red planet. NASA has targeted a variety of Martian terrain in their decades of exploration, and Gale crater will be one of the most interesting yet.
The steep rock faces created inside the crater will give the rover access to many layers, and therefore may different eras, of Martian geology. It’s like a lens to look backward into Mars’ chemical and geologic history.
FOUR DAYS, PEOPLE!!!!
Check out the earlier countdown entries and my other posts about this latest Mars mission here.
With topography data from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, this 30 second video of Mars shows all six NASA spacecraft to reach the Red Planet: Viking 1, Viking 2, Pathfinder, Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix.
Toward the end of the video, you can also see Gale Crater, where Curiosity is aiming to touch down on Aug 5 at 10:31pm PST, Aug 6 at 1:31am EST, Aug 6 at 5:31am Universal. (Watch it live on NASA TV.)