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Back to Mars to Look for Signs of Life

Photo By NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has yet another rover on it’s way to Mars, expected to arrive on Sunday and then make it’s way toward a mountain that may finally tells us whether life has ever existed on Mars.

The rover, also known as Curiosity, has been on it’s way toward Mars since it’s November launch. The nuclear-powered rover, about the size of a compact car is expected to arrive on Mars August 6 at 1:31 a.m. EDT.

Curiosity’s destination is what is suspected to be a former lake bed, to look for signs of life.

NASA says landing is by no means guaranteed. To transport the one-ton rover and position it near the mound, engineers devised a complicated system that includes a 52-foot (16-metre) diameter supersonic parachute, a rocket-powered aerial platform and a so-called “sky crane” designed to lower the rover on a tether to the ground.

Earth and Mars are so far apart that radio signals take 13.8 minutes just to travel back to earth at the speed of light.

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