August 22nd, 2012
04:37 PM ET

Mars rover passes first driving test

The Mars rover Curiosity has completed its first drive, NASA scientists announced Wednesday, proving that it’s capable of moving farther afield on the Red Planet.

“It couldn’t be more important. We built a rover, so unless the rover roves, we really haven’t accomplished anything,” said Curiosity Project Manager Pete Theisinger at Wednesday's news conference. “The fact that we completely exercised it, and everything was on track, is a big moment.”

Curiosity, situated in Gale Crater, drove forward, turned in place 120 degrees, and backed up. The process took about 16 minutes, including photo-taking, Heverly said, but the driving itself was probably about four to five minutes.

Meet a rover driver: His other car is on Mars

Now that the rover has gotten a “learner’s permit” of sorts, its next destination will be Glenelg, which is 400 meters (1,300 feet) east-southeast from its landing site. This area has three types of terrain, including layered bedrock, which scientists are eying as a place for Curiosity to drill.


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Filed under: In Space • Mars
Shooting the stars: Get photo tips!
August 22nd, 2012
01:53 PM ET

Shooting the stars: Get photo tips!

Do you love to shoot the stars?

Join Light Years and CNN iReport on Facebook tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET for a chat with R. Jay GaBany, one of the world’s leading amateur astrophotographers.

Jay will answer your questions about celestial photography and share his tips for how to get the best brag-worthy snapshots of meteor showers, the Milky Way and the night sky using minimal equipment.

See more of photos like the one above on his website and learn more about him here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Filed under: iReport
August 22nd, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Watch Curiosity land, in HD

The @MarsCuriosity team has released a beautiful, high-definition video of the Curiosity rover landing on the surface of Mars on August 6. This is no simulation: it's a rover's-eye-view of the Red Planet's surface zooming up to meet it.

Need to catch up on the details of the latest mission to Mars? Check out all our Curiosity coverage!

Filed under: Mars


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