Curiosity Makes Second Drill

By Andrew Baglini
7/9/2013 8:35:13 AM

On the way to Mars, Curiosity's Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measured the high energy radiation from within the capsule. The readings are intended to help NASA protect astronauts when they fly in spacecrafts exposed to deep space radiation. It turns out that the radiation is equivalent to getting a CT scan every five to six days. This information will help NASA determine how to shield the astronauts properly.

Curiosity's destination was carefully chosen, near what appeared to be an old river bed. This river appeared to have started on the rim of Gale Crater and flowed to the sight where Curiosity landed. During Curiosity's journey, we have seen conglomerates of rocks which are typically found in rivers. By studying the size of the pebbles in the conglomerate and noting how rounded they have become, scientists determined that the river was between ankle and hip deep and flowed at walking speed. Curiosity has finished its second drill and is comparing it to the analysis of the first drill. In the meantime, it will be heading to its ultimate destination, Mount Sharp.