Mars Science Lander…?

Oh, hello again, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I know there’s not been an update for a while, but that’s because there’s not been much to report from Gale Crater. In fact if you can hang on a minute, I just nede to check something… be right back…

(click click… scroll… click… scroll… click… Save Image…”

Ah, yes, I was right, I didn‘t just imagine it. Look…

Yep, Curiosity HAS got wheels! She IS a rover! I didn’t justĀ  imagine it after all!

I was beginning to wonder if the “L” in MSL stood for “Lander” instead of Laboratory, because our favourite nuclear-powered, laser-toting, rock-crunching Barsoomian battle wagon – having driven to the border of a geological Narnia, now surrounded on all sides by breathtakingly-beautiful rocks and layered hills, and with the great bulk of Mt Sharp looming over her – hasn’t moved for almost three weeks now; she’s been too busy playing by a dune with her dinky little scoop, filling it up with dust, tipping it out again, then filling it up again, like a kid from the big city playing on a beach for the first time! ;-)

I’M JOKING!!!!! I know this is an absolutely crucial part of the mission, and they need to check-out the scoop and the soil delivery systems thoroughly before doing any real science, and Curiosity will move again when she’s good and ready.

But over on the other side of Mars, Opportunity is zipping around the slopes of Cape York like Roadrunner, “Meep! Meep!”ing her way between and around various outcrops of rock there on the edge of Endeavour Crater, in pursuit of those precious phyllosilicates.

The faint sound you can hear being carried on the martian wind is Opportunity laughing “You might have a laser, and a fancy little scoop, but look at me go! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…!!!!!”

Of course, Curiosity hasn’t just been standing there looking at her feet, she’s been taking lots of photographs of the landscape around her, including some – I think – really beautiful images of the rocks and boulders scattered across and around Glenelg, which show a fantastic varioety of shapes, textures and colours. Images like this (click to enlarge)…

…and this…

…and what the ???? is going on on THIS rock…?

When the time is right, and Curiosity does move away from her dusty playground, I think we’ll see even more beautiful pictures. And I’m hoping that we’ll soon have a view of Earth shining in the pre-dawn sky too. I really, really want to see that! :-)

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3 thoughts on “Mars Science Lander…?

  1. Jay E. Wichmann says:

    That rock with the green whatever-it-is on it ooks just like a fossilized giant queen termite, and the sawn-in-half rock (and who did that?) appears to reveal a petrified termite-holed mud mound.
    Just wishful thinking . . .

    Jay E.(Number so-and-so on the microchip on the Curiosity Rover)

  2. Birgit says:

    Oh, Stu,I laughed heartily, big funny !

  3. ted says:

    Yep…funny stuff there Stu…
    and absolutely stunning photos…that pebble boulder field is amazing…you can almost feel the rocks crunch under your feet.
    Such a pristine desolate place…

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