Curiosity rover reaches long-term goal: a massive Martian mountain

A little over two years after landing, Curiosity has reached a milestone. NASA recently announced that the rover has arrived at the base of Mount Sharp, a 3.4-mile-high mountain that Curiosity has been heading towards since July of 2013. The initial landing was in Gale Crater, and the total journey has been around 9km or 5.5 miles — a number that becomes more impressive if you consider that Curiosity was designed to travel a maximum of 660 feet per day and navigate difficult terrain on its six wheels. The Spirit rover traveled only 4.8 miles over its lifespan, although the still-active Opportunity rover has logged about 25 miles since 2003. Curiosity’s path was rerouted earlier this year after scientists found that sharp rocks were…

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