Curiosity in the desert

Last week, scientists used ice caves in Austria as a stand-in for Martian caves, testing spacesuits and rovers in the freezing chambers. This week: We go to the desert near Baker, California, where NASA is testing out its Curiosity rover. Curiosity is 86 days away from landing on the real Martian surface.

Gene Blevins / Reuters



  1. Just read in Science (4 May, “Ancient Impact and Aqueus Processes at Endeavor Crater, Mars”) a report from the geologists who tele-robotically visited:
    “The gypsum veins at Cape York provide clear evidence for relatively dilute water at a moderate temperature, perhaps supporting locally and transiently habitable environments.” [includes tricorder pics]
    They are talking about past climates, but still a Star Trek moment. I’m giddy with anticipation for Curiosity to get winched down to the surface on a cable:

    1.   I think a lot of people will be holding their breath for that touchdown. It’s a very interesting landing system, and I’ll be rather impressed if it comes off without a hitch.

  2. I’ve just about had enough of you. Go that way. You’ll be malfunctioning within a day, you near-sighted scrap pile. And don’t let me catch you following me begging for help because you won’t get it.

  3. You should realize though its Nasa aim NOT to find life, they have gone out of their way to actually avoid it (sending probes incapable of detecting it, ignoring data from probes that DID show it : Viking) I dont expect anything from this.

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