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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity marks 2,000th day on red planet

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has now marked 2,000 days on the red planet.

That’s 2,000 days by way of Martian requirements. A Martian sol, or sun day, is an identical to 24 hours, 39 mins and 35 seconds. So 2,000 days on Mars equivalent 2,055 days right here on Earth.

Either method, it’s a large milestone this week for scientists longing for Curiosity to start out drilling once more, this time into probably clay-rich rocks on the slopes of Mount Sharp. The six-wheeled rover has traveled 11.6 miles since its arrival in 2012.

The rover Opportunity, despite the fact that, has Curiosity beat.

Last month, NASA’s busy Opportunity surpassed its five,000 day on Mars. It’s been exploring Mars since 2004. NASA plans to ship any other robot geologist to Mars in May. Named InSight, the lander will keep in a single position as a heat-measuring tool burrows deep into the Martian terrain.

Curiosity’s flight controllers, in the meantime, are trying out a brand new drilling approach. The rover’s drill stopped operating correctly in 2016, and so engineers devised otherwise to bore into Martian rocks and get the pulverized rock samples into the rover’s lab tools.


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