Curiosity finishes updating and preparing to go
The software update four days of Curiosity rover completed and is ready to explore the crater Gale, where he is stationed since joining does little more than a week. NASA plans some tests to see that everything is in working order during the next few days, and that the rover can move smoothly on the Martian terrain.
With the upgrade, the robot can handle himself and trace routes watching for obstacles or dangers to himself, avoiding them. Then comes the testing phase for the robotic arm, which has to exercise a little after so many months of travel.
Curiosity mission is to study rocks and soil of the crater Gale, while traveling toward the base of Mount Sharp, a mountain of 4800 meters. Curiosity is expected to climb the first few meters in towards the end of its planned two-year mission. NASA must now trace the route to be followed by the rover to reach the mountain, which is about 8 kilometers. The trip will take a long time because the robot has to stop and explore and test the materials on the floor constantly.
The agency also published a new photo taken by Curiosity (above), where the colors were adjusted to see the terrain as seen from Earth light. The idea of this correction is to recognize the rocks under a more familiar light of reaching Mars.
– Rover updated software, first driving tests on tap (CNET)
– MSL Media Teleconference (NASA)