但首先, let me take a selfie! NASA’s Curiosity rover snaps a stunning 360-degree photo on the Red Planet
美国宇航局‘s Curiosity rover has snapped a spectacular 360-degree selfie of the Red Planet.
The veteran explorer, which was launched to Mars 10 几年前, captured the image using a camera at the end of its robotic arm.
It snapped 81 individual pictures to make up the panoramic view of its desolate surroundings.
The Curiosity rover’s 推特 account shared the images, 写作: ‘Stop! 自拍时间. I took this 360-degree selfie using the Mars Hand Lens Imager at the end of my arm.’
Landmarks featured in the selfie include a rock structure behind the rover known as ‘Greenheugh Pediment’, while a hill to the right is ‘Rafael Navarro Mountain’, named after a Curiosity team scientist who died earlier this year.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has snapped a spectacular 360-degree selfie of the Red Planet using a camera on its robotic arm
The veteran explorer, which was launched to Mars 10 几年前, 抢购 81 individual pictures to make up the panoramic view of its desolate surroundings
HOW THE CURIOSITY ROVER HAS IMPROVED OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE RED PLANET
好奇号火星探测器最初是从卡纳维拉尔角发射的, 11 月，佛罗里达州的一个美国空军基地 26, 2011.
开始了一个 350 百万英里 (560 万公里) 旅行, 18 亿英镑 ($2.5 十亿) 研究车只着陆 1.5 英里 (2.4 公里) 远离指定着陆点.
8月6日成功登陆后, 2012, 漫游车已经旅行了大约 11 英里 (18 公里).
It launched on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) 航天器和漫游车构成 23 占整个任务质量的百分比.
用 80 公斤 (180 磅) 船上的科学仪器, 漫游车的总重量为 899 公斤 (1,982 磅) 并由钚燃料源提供动力.
漫游车是 2.9 米 (9.5 英尺) 好久不见 2.7 米 (8.9 英尺) 宽广 2.2 米 (7.2 英尺) 身高.
火星车最初的目的是进行为期两年的任务，以收集信息以帮助回答地球是否可以支持生命存在, 有液态水, 研究火星的气候和地质.
由于它的成功, 任务已无限期延长，现在已活跃超过 3,000 天.
The rover is currently heading towards ‘Maria Gordon Notch’, the U-shaped opening which can be made out behind it and to the left.
Last month the rover marked the 10th anniversary of its launch to Mars by sending back a spectacular ‘picture postcard’ from the Red Planet.
The robotic explorer snapped two black and white images of the Martian landscape which were then combined and had colour added to them to produce the remarkable composite.
Curiosity, which launched to the Red Planet almost exactly 10 years ago on November 26, 2011, took the pictures from its most recent perch on the side of Mars’ Mount Sharp.
It captured a 360-degree view of its surroundings with its black-and-white navigation cameras each time it completes a drive, before beaming back the panorama to Earth.
Curiosity is not the newest rover on Mars — that honour belongs to Perseverance, which arrived with NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter in February this year and is searching for ancient microbial life on the Red Planet.
上个月 Perseverance collected its third Martian sample, this time from a rock ‘loaded with the greenish mineral olivine’.
The rover carries 43 titanium tubes, and as it finds a piece of rock of interest, it loads the sample into one of these tubes for later collection.
Billions of years ago, back to the earliest days of the solar system, the Jezero crater that Perseverance is scouting harboured a lake and river delta, making it a good place to search for signs of ‘life’.
NASA plans a mission to bring around 30 samples back to Earth in the 2030s, where scientists will be able to conduct more detailed analysis that might confirm there was microbial life.
然而, Perseverance itself is not bringing the samples back to Earth — when the rover reaches a suitable location, 这些管子将掉落在火星表面，以备将来的回收任务收集, 目前正在开发中.
Curiosity (pictured as a model in California) launched to the Red Planet almost exactly 10 years ago on November 26, 2011
NASA and ESA plan to launch two more spacecraft that would leave Earth in 2026 and reach Mars in 2028.
The first will deploy a small rover, which will make its way to Perseverance, pick up the filled sampling tubes and transfer them to a ‘Mars ascent vehicle’ — a small rocket.
This rocket will blast off – in the process becoming the first object launched from the surface of Mars – and place the container into Martian orbit, meaning it will essentially be floating in space.
这一点, the third and final spacecraft involved in the tricky operation will manoeuvre itself next to the sample container, pick it up and fly it back to Earth.
Providing its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere is successful, it will plummet to the ground at a military training ground in Utah in 2031, meaning the Martian samples won’t be studied for another 10 年份.
They say if there was life on the red planet, it probably will present itself as fossilized bacteria – and have proposed a new way to look for it.
Here are the most promising signs of life so far –
在火星上寻找生命时, experts agree that water is key.
Although the planet is now rocky and barren with water locked up in polar ice caps there could have been water in the past.
在 2000, scientists first spotted evidence for the existence of water on Mars.
The Nasa Mars Global Surveyor found gullies that could have been created by flowing water.
The debate is ongoing as to whether these recurring slope lineae (RSL) could have been formed from water flow.
Earth has been hit by 34 meteorites from Mars, three of which are believed to have the potential to carry evidence of past life on the planet, 写 Space.com.
在 1996, experts found a meteorite in Antarctica known as ALH 84001 that contained fossilised bacteria-like formations.
然而, 在 2012, experts concluded that this organic material had been formed by volcanic activity without the involvement of life.
Signs of Life
The first close-ups of the planet were taken by the 1964 Mariner 4 使命.
These initial images showed that Mars has landforms that could have been formed when the climate was much wetter and therefore home to life.
在 1975, the first Viking orbiter was launched and although inconclusive it paved the way for other landers.
Many rovers, orbiters and landers have now revealed evidence of water beneath the crust and even occasional precipitation.
今年早些时候, Nasa’s Curiosity rover found potential building blocks of life in an ancient Martian lakebed.
The organic molecules preserved in 3.5 billion-year-old bedrock in Gale Crater — believed to have once contained a shallow lake the size of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee — suggest conditions back then may have been conducive to life.
Future missions to Mars plan on bringing samples back to Earth to test them more thoroughly.
在 2018, 好奇号还证实了火星大气中甲烷的季节性急剧增加.
Curiosity’s methane measurements occurred over four-and-a-half Earth years, covering parts of three Martian years.
Seasonal peaks were detected in late summer in the northern hemisphere and late winter in the southern hemisphere.
The magnitude of these seasonal peaks – by a factor of three – was far more than scientists expected.