NASA’s Curiosity Makes First Test Drive on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Makes First Test Drive on Mars
# 22 August 2012 20:56 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. NASA scientists took on Wednesday the 900-kg Mars rover for a short spin on the surface of the Red Planet, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

“1st drive complete! This is how I roll: forward 3 meters, 90º turn, then back,” a message on Curiosity’s official Twitter page said.

The message is accompanied by an image of the rover leaving visible treads on the rugged Martian terrain.

The size of a small car, the rover is equipped with six wheels, four of which can pivot.

The test drive is part of a series of checks on Curiosity’s performance being conducted after it landed on Mars on August 6 beginning a two-year mission to assess whether the distant planet has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

Before the Mars rover embarks on a 7-km (4.3-mile) journey to its primary target - the foot of Mount Sharp on the floor of Gale Crater - NASA scientists plan to send it out on a shorter trek to a spot about 400 meters (1,300 feet) from its landing site.
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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED