by Dr. Ken Kremer, AAAP and Universe TodayNASA’s Curiosity has begun her next drilling campaign on the Red Planet after scrutinizing an enticing slab of sandstone rock at “The Kimberley Waypoint”. See herein my custom photomosaics from Kimberley.
The team directed the Curiosity rover to bore a test hole into a Martian rock target at Kimberley called “Windjana” on April 29 which exhibited interesting bumpy textures. It was 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) in diameter and to a depth of about 0.8 inch (2 centimeters) using the hammering drill at the terminus of the robotic arm. A decision about full drilling is planned in coming days, NASA press officer Guy Webster told me.
Windjana is an outcrop of sandstone located at the base of a Martian butte named Mount Remarkable at “The Kimberley Waypoint” – a science stopping point reached by the rover in early April 2014 along its epic trek to towering Mount Sharp, the primary destination of the mission. Windjana is named after a gorge in Western Australia.“Kimberley was chosen as a science destination because it has interesting, complex stratigraphy,” Curiosity Principal Investigator John Grotzinger, of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, told me.
Curiosity departed the ancient lakebed at the Yellowknife Bay region in July 2013 where she discovered a habitable zone with the key chemical elements and a chemical energy source that could have supported microbial life billions of years ago – and thereby accomplished the primary goal of the mission.
For more about Curiosity read my articles here:
The next Antares/Cygnus rocket launch from nearby Virginia to the ISS is set for overnight on June 10. Contact Ken if interested to attend.
Astronomy Outreach by Dr. Ken Kremer
Mercy College: Dobbs Ferry, NY, May 19. “Curiosity, MAVEN and the Search for Life on Mars – (in 3-D)”
Antares Rocket Launch to ISS, June 10: NASA Wallops Island, VA. Evening outreach Jun 9-10 at Rodeway Inn, Chincoteague, VA.
Please contact Ken for more info, science outreach presentations and his space photos. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.kenkremer.com, http://www.universetoday.com/author/ken-kremer/