Curiosity

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory

What is it?

This six wheeled rover, named Curiosity is a robot approximately the size of a standard car (as opposed to the other exploration rovers on Mars, which are about the size of golf carts. Curiosity is not a standard exploration rover. Aptly named, it takes the role of a Science Laboratory, able to not only take photos, but conduct tests on things such as soil samples.
Useless information: I've always thought that the rover's camera and antenna looked like two little gentleman robots wearing top-hats and specs, especially the larger white one. Can you see it? :)

Why?

Curiosity was commissioned because a more scientifically powerful and capable vehicle was needed to conduct further research on Mars. Curiosity's mission as a mobile science laboratory is to test whether Mars ever had the ability to support microbes (small life forms), therefore testing the red planet's habitability. In order to do this, Curiosity must sample soil and rocks, by drilling the rock and scooping the soil and rock bits. The laboratory will study the geologic features of the area it is assigned to, searching for elements such as carbon. Essentially, Curiosity is helping us learn about Mars by uncovering the "secrets written in the rocks"
A panoramic photo of Mars' landscape, taken by Curiosity. Notice how the rocks and sand look somewhat similar to areas that can be found on earth, such as some places in the desert ares of Nevada.

How does it work?

Embedded here is a link to a video that shows us that Curiosity has been making admirable progress with regards to it's mission.

In Conclusion...

...the curiosity rover has demonstrated that there are signs pointing to the building blocks of life inside of our solar system. This in general as a testament to the achievement of humanity to create a machine such as this one. To end, ponder this. Think about how due to the discoveries and utility that Curiosity makes and provides, humanity could learn about planets through a "macro lens". With knowledge like this, who knows what we as a species could achieve?

Bibliography

O'Donnel, Franklin. "Space Probe." AccessScience. McGraw Hill Education, 2012. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://www.accessscience.com/content/Space-probe/639300#639300FG0200>.


"Mars Science Laboratory: Curiosity Rover." NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Government of USA, Web. 24 May 2013. <http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/>.


"PIA16925: Mars Stereo View from "John Klein" to Mount Sharp ." NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Government of USA, Web. 24 May 2013. <http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16925>.


Couts, Andrew. "Curiosity Mars Rover: Five Surprising Facts." Digital Trends. 6 Aug. 2012. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/curiosity-mars-rover-5-surprising-facts/>.