Curiosity landed on Mars 2 years ago and has been slowly working its way towards its destination of Mt. Sharp. Officially Curiosity has made it to Mt. Sharp but still has a long journey ahead. The team at JPL have decided to take an alternate route to access Mt. Sharp which made Curiosity arrive at the mountain a little earlier.
The original plan from the JPL staff was to access Mt. Sharp through an entry point known as Murray Buttes but have recently changed the entry point to a closer area known as Pahrump Hills. The reason for the change is do to some observations at the Pahrump Hills location. The team have decided that the features at the Pahrump Hills location seem more interesting. According to Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena:
“The nature of the terrain at Pahrump Hills and just beyond it is a better place than Murray Buttes to learn about the significance of this contact. The exposures at the contact are better due to greater topographic relief.”
Curiosity has been a scientific journey that has changed what we think about our neighboring planet Mars. Everything that Curiosity has done has taught us something like the incredibly difficult landing, the geology of another planet, or how just rolling across the surface of Mars can do quite a bit of damage to your transport system and may even make large holes in your metal wheels.
Although Curiosity has taught us many things about Mars in the past 2 years it is amazing to think that it is only just getting to its destination and will be teaching us many more things in the future.