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Welcome back everybody will Mars the newest frontier the curiosity rover has worked hard since -- arrival on the red planet.
Sending that groundbreaking never before seen images and now curiosity stands at just a few hundred feet from its first major destination joining us now.
NASA's -- Christian who is the director of the Mars exploration program.
It's great to have you here today thank you so much for joining us great to be here -- you know that there is -- much excitement about this program because certainly you are.
Doing some ground breaking work and this is a time when people can really feel that NASA is doing all they -- capture the imagination.
And really make progress -- right.
We really are this truly is a groundbreaking mission we have pushed the technological boundaries and we've pushed the scientific boundaries as well I think.
We're gonna find not just the great things you don't technically but it brand new things about -- every time we go to -- every time we look at it.
We learn more about it -- helps us learn more about our plan as well and this is going to be a very exciting mission.
Let's talk more about curiosity factor -- me -- curiosity -- -- major milestone.
With its destined first big destination talked about that from.
Yeah the first destination is called Glendale.
Which is a palindrome cobra gonna drive to it and -- drive right back where we were to get to the main destination which is decline -- -- -- -- for us in -- -- -- sharp.
So this location is -- interest because we landed in an area.
If you can see here there's three completely separate units in this that the light tone -- stuff at the top.
We believe actually is maybe the outflow channel from a river and ancient river the rain off the sides of the crater walls and settle down into their personal.
All -- -- and we're those three units come together is actually our first destination that's going now.
We don't understand why those three areas are so different the one on the bottom left the bottom right and then the top we don't understand that.
But we've -- some very interest -- things along the way we've driven about 900 feet we've got about another 500 to go.
And if you look at some of these rocks that we have here.
-- wouldn't go to that chart.
You'll see that it looks almost like broken pavement here this is the picture I was referring to.
It almost looks like broken pavement what this is is the kind of sedentary -- find at the bottom of lake beds and river beds.
If we look at this next image which is a close up of the foreground.
If you notice that all the rocks that are embedded in this are smooth and round -- all the pebbles down on the ground.
So this looks to us were pretty convinced that this is an old riverbed.
Which is amazing to say about the history of Mars it was a wet when you're saying a minute ago that that ain't this ain't it goes back to ancient times how anxious are you staying active considering that this is economics.
-- we're talking about three and a half to four billion years ago when Mars was a warm and wet planet.
Not terribly unlike earth standing water moving rivers.
Lakes is salty marshes and things like that.
All that water is gone underground we believe a lot of his ex skate to the -- Atmosphere and we need to understand why that's happened to those questions -- those questions remain because this is something that of course is uncharted territory what surprised you the most about dismissed so far.
How well it's gone.
It has from the time we launched it has behaved incredibly well we test an instrument and it does what we expected to do.
We we drives and and the driving in the steering have gone just beautifully.
So the mission has just been very very well behaved should awfully Steffi knowledge terrific -- -- -- that smooth and -- -- like Memphis and how long can we expect curiosities AMR's.
Well that's a really good question.
We designed -- for a two year mission life.
But we have a power source -- of plutonium that creates energy and about the consistency of a hundred watt light all.
Continually so we have a constant trickle charger for our batteries so we know we've got at least fifteen if not twenty to 25 years worth of power available.
Can you imagine -- that time -- what you might be kept coming up with that you might be seeing out there -- I know I hope we can get to the top amount -- that's what I really hope that we can do that's exciting you've got one of the best jobs around I have to say I think it's fantastic and all the best to use it very likely to keep close watch and keep trying to track of your progress fantastic appreciate it thank you very much.
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