Has anyone ever been to Mars? No, not yet! The distance from Earth to Mars varies from 56 million km to 600 million km. Even at its closest Mars would be a six-month journey away.
Mars was named after the Roman god of war, because of its blood-red color. There are evidences that life may have existed on the red planet long ago as clay materials was spotted in ancient rocks on the planet. Water may have been present around three billion years ago. Mars has polar caps like Earth, and contains mostly frozen carbon dioxide instead of frozen water.
Ah! No one landed on Mars; still we know so many things about this mysterious planet. This has been possible through advance engineering and robots. Latest in this series is Curiosity Rover.
Curiosity Rover is a most advanced robot developed till now, launched by NASA on 26 November, 2011 and landed on Mars on 6 August, 2012. It took around 9 months to travel millions of kms to make successful landing in Gale Carter (Carter – Formation at the top of Volcabo) on Planet Mars. This robot is almost equivalent to size of a car and weighs around 900 kg, half the weight of Mercedes Benz E-class. Robot is equipped with most advanced technology – power generation, computers, guiding system, communications, mobility systems, cameras, laboratory, and lot more.
Imagine about this robot, it is working on Mars, when there is no electricity on Mars, No roads, No laboratories, No one to command, highly un-even surface, Unknown territory, and on top of it, everything is new. Curiosity Rover has a power generation system fueled with plutonium, computers to keep the rover operational, telecommunication to communicate and send findings to earth and mobility system to travel on uneven surface of mars. The robot is having a mobile laboratory equipped with necessary equipments used for the investigation and research of the land particles of Mars. Specifically the robot carries ten different instruments for investigation of different parts of sands and particles. They found parts of Sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and carbon which surely were indicating towards the past activities of the micro creatures.
There are many un-answered questions about this planet, that scientist are hoping to resolve by curiosity rover or future research robots.
Traces led to believe presence of water. What happened drastically that the watery planet turned into a dusty and barren planet? Is there any possibility that the living organisms can sustain and grow over there? Can there be a life in future?
We hope to know answers soon if robotics and technology grow at exponential level.