Author Archives: ajking85

Curious but complex – an update

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Curiosity has been sitting a series of exams ahead of its long journey to Mt. Sharp. Initial testing of the MAHLI and APXS instruments has been successfully completed, whilst engineers have also continued to fine-tune the movement of the robotic arm. Following this brief stop … Continue reading

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Curious but complex

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NASAs Curiosity rover has been having a slight breather having driven over 100 m from the Bradbury landing site. This pause has provided engineers with an important opportunity to fully extend and test the rovers 2m long robotic arm. The … Continue reading

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A busy week

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The past week has seen NASAs Curiosity rover return more amazing images of the Gale crater, fire up its DAN and SAM instruments, and take its first steps towards Mt. Sharp. The new images, captured using the 100mm telephoto lens … Continue reading

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Full speed ahead

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NASAs Curiosity rover has made its first test drive on Mars. On sol 16 the rover moved forward 4.5m, turned 120°, and finally reversed 2.5m, leaving behind a series of visible tracks at the Bradbury (recently named after the writer Ray … Continue reading

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All systems (almost) go!

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NASAs Curiosity rover has successfully analyzed its first Martian rock using the ChemCam! Although only a test, the chemical composition of a nearby rock, named “Coronation”, was determined by firing a laser at its surface and observing the colours of … Continue reading

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Still curious…

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Spectacular images returned by NASAs Curiosity rover from the surface of Mars are enabling scientists to piece together a geological map of the rover’s landing site and surrounding area. The images, captured by the rover’s MastCam, suggest a terrain similar … Continue reading

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Testing! Testing!

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After yesterdays successful landing in Gale crater, NASA scientists have started preparing the Curiosity rover for its mission to study the past and present climate on Mars. In the last 24 hours they have been busy testing the rover’s cameras, … Continue reading

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Touchdown!

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At around 6.30am (GMT) this morning, after a journey lasting just over 8 months, NASA’s Curiosity rover arrived on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists across the world had to endure the “seven minutes of terror“ as the spacecraft made a … Continue reading

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When art meets science…

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Hi, I’m Ashley, a researcher studying extra-terrestrial samples in the Cosmochemistry and Isotope Geochemistry group. Recently, along with my scientific research I’ve also been in contact with David Gelsthorpe, the curator of Earth Sciences at the Manchester Museum, to see … Continue reading

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