MessageToEagle.com - Curiosity flexed its robotic arm today for the first time since before launch in November 2011.
The 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm maneuvers a turret of tools including a camera, a drill, a spectrometer,
a scoop and mechanisms for sieving and portioning samples of powdered rock and soil.
"We have had to sit tight for the first two weeks since landing, while other parts of the rover were checked out,
so to see the arm extended in these images is a huge moment for us," said Matt Robinson of NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, lead engineer for Curiosity's robotic arm testing and operations.
"The arm is how we are going to get
samples into the laboratory instruments and how we place other instruments onto surface targets."
Weeks of testing and calibrating arm movements are ahead before the arm delivers a first sample of Martian soil
to instruments inside the rover. Monday's maneuver checked motors and joints by unstowing the arm for the first
time, extending it forward using all five joints, then stowing it again in preparation for the rover's first drive.
"It worked just as we planned," said JPL's Louise Jandura, sample system chief engineer for Curiosity.
"From telemetry and from the images received this morning, we can confirm that the arm went to the positions we commanded it to go to."
The turret has a mass of about 66 pounds (30 kilograms). Its diameter, including the tools mounted on it, is nearly
2 feet (60 centimeters).
Click on image to enlarge
Curiosity Extends Arm for First Time on Mars
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity extended its robotic arm on Aug. 20, 2012, for the first time on Mars and used
its Navigation Camera (Navcam) to capture this view of the extended arm.
The view is a mosaic of low-resolution thumbnail images returned to Earth a few hours after the activity on Mars.
Higher resolution versions were to follow.
The 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm maneuvers a turret of tools including a camera, a drill, a spectrometer, a
scoop and mechanisms for sieving and portioning samples of powdered rock and soil.
Numbers around the edge are degrees of the compass and degrees below or above horizontal. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
"We'll start using our sampling system in the weeks ahead, and we're getting ready to try our first drive later this
week," said Mars Science Laboratory Deputy Project Manager Richard Cook of JPL.
Curiosity landed on Mars two weeks ago to begin a two-year mission using 10 instruments to assess whether a carefully
chosen study area inside Gale Crater has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.
There are now only a few more days before
Curiosity will land on the Red Planet and as we await this moment,
we explore what role chemistry plays on Mars and what we expect from the rover.
Extraterrestrial Life Is A Censored Subject Says Famous Professor
It is not often scientists are willing to openly discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
According to a famous astronomy professor there is a reason why a majority of scientists avoid the subject - it is censored!
Even though the general public embraces ideas of extraterrestrial life, science is expected to shun this subject no
matter how strong the evidence, albeit through a conspiracy of silence.