Will humanity ever lay foot on the Red Planet? Will we ever find microbial life there? Will we ever find little green men with pointy years and willing to unveil us the mysteries of the Cosmos and of eternal wealthiness? Will we ever be able to build a shelter on Mars? Will we ever build a colony there? How would a human raised on Mars be? We may not have answers to all these questions, but at least we’re trying to find them with little steps.
One little step is represented by the Curiosity rover, which has been landed on the Red Planet seven years ago and continues to explore its surface. The rover is studying the layers of rock around Mount Sharp, which towers from the center of the Gale Crater. And the probe shot one desolating photo:
Curiosity’s instruments are investigating different types of rock in the region – different colors are suggesting several stratigraphic units. Astronomers hope that they will be able to understand how the units are related to each other and that Curiosity will characterize them, using the data gathered.
The geologist Kristen Bennett of the United States Geological Survey wrote the following on NASA’s Mars Exploration website:
“After all of these observations, Curiosity will start driving around the butte to look at it from the other side,
“We expect to continue having amazing views of Central Butte at our next stop!”
The Gale Crater has been formed after a giant asteroid smashed into the planet billions of years ago, which means long before one similar event caused the extinction of the dinosaurs on Earth. The dinosaurs got wiped out only 65 million years ago.
Above all this, the ultimate question arises: what photo will the Curiosity rover bring next? Is anybody willing to bet on an animal-shaped carved stone?