Ummid Assistant

Jamia Millia launches courses on China, Afghanistan

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Science & Technology

US rover to scout for Mars' habitability

Sunday November 27, 2011 10:37:06 AM, Agencies

Washington: A nuclear-powered US rover was launched to help assess Mars' habitability.

The car-sized rover, atop an Atlas V rocket, blasted off at 10.02 a.m. Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Xinhua reported.

"Liftoff of the Atlas V with Curiosity, seeking clues to the planetary puzzle about life on Mars," said NASA commentator George Diller as the white rocket soared skyward.

The rover, nicknamed Curiosity, will journey for over eight months, covering 556 million km, before touching down on Mars in August 2012.

"A signal from the spacecraft ... has been received by officials on the ground," NASA announced an hour after liftoff.

At nearly a tonne, the six-wheeled vehicle, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, dwarfs all previous robots sent to the surface of the planet. It is about twice as long and more than five times as heavy as any previous Mars rover.

Its 10 science instruments include two for ingesting and analyzing samples of powdered rock delivered by the rover's robotic arm.

During a prime mission lasting one Martian year -- nearly two Earth years -- researchers will use the rover's tools to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favourable for supporting microbial life and favourable for preserving clues about whether life existed.

Curiosity is the first instrument of its kind, and largest, most scientifically capable spacecraft ever destined for the surface of another planet.

It is equipped with a generator that converts heat from the natural decay of a non-weapons-grade plutonium into electricity.

The electricity will power rover systems and keep it warm in an environment where average temperatures are minus 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

The $2.5-billion project "is an incredibly important flagship mission for this agency ... as important as Hubble (space telescope)," observed Doug McCuistion, NASA's Mars exploration program director.

Its launch comes at a time when NASA -- still struggling to find its way after the retirement of America's iconic shuttle fleet -- is anxious to exhibit its technological competence and prowess.

Curiosity will land near the base of a layered mountain five kilometers high inside the Gale Crater on Mars. The crater spans an area as large as Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Planetary geologists are intrigued because data from the US Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest the low-lying crater floor once was wet with water.

Scientists also think the site might be rife with "organics" -- carbonaceous compounds that are key chemical building blocks for life.

Life on Earth emerges when liquid water is combined with a source of energy, such as sunlight, and carbon compounds.



 


 



 

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

i

i

 

 

 

Top Stories

States can decide on foreign retail chains: Anand Sharma

Guidelines for the new policy of allowing 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail outlets  

Amid opposition, India declares retail trade open

Fact sheet on India's retail trade industry

FDI in retail will destroy livelihoods of 'crores', says CPI-M

 

  Most Read

Contestants from 53 countries to demonstrate Quran memorization skills

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance of Saudi Arabia is organizing next month  in Makkah the 33rd King Abdul Aziz International Contest 

India remembers victims, martyrs on 26/11 third anniversary

India paid homage to the victims and martyrs of the 26/11 terror attacks on its third anniversary here Saturday. Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan laid a wreath at the 26/11 memorial at 

Protesting widows, kin of 26/11 victims detained

 

  News Pick

Pakistan to ask US to vacate air base

Pakistan will ask the US to stop using one of its key air base after a NATO air raid on one of the country's border checkposts left at least 25 soldiers dead, the 

25 Pakistani troops killed in NATO airstrike

Despite yatra, Advani is no Vajpayee

Since politicians are generally suspected of hiding their self-serving interest under homilies, it is unlikely that there are many takers for L.K. Advani's claim that his recent rath yatra - his sixth trademark venture 

Jamia Millia: Little known hub of pioneering scientific research

Mohammad Dilshad Manzar is a typical young man from the small town of Samastipur in Bihar but with big dreams. He led a life of deprivation due 

 

Picture of the Day

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Emeritus Senior Minister, Mr. Goh Chok Tong, unveiled the bust and the Marker of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, at Asian Civilizations Museum, in Singapore on November 20, 2011.

(Photo: M. Asokan )

 

 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Religion

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Culture

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

Career

     

Education

     

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.