This image was taken by Curiosity’s Mastcam: Left camera on Sol 924, March 13, 2015.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image was taken by Curiosity’s Mastcam: Left camera on Sol 924, March 13, 2015.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Rover is trekking on a path toward higher layers of Mount Sharp, a route that takes it first through a valley called “Artist’s Drive,” heading southwestward from Pahrump Hills.

Curiosity’s drill has used a combination of rotary and percussion action to collect samples from six rock targets since the rover landed inside Gale Crater in 2012.

This image was taken by Navcam: Right B onboard the robot on Sol 924, March 13th.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This image was taken by Navcam: Right B onboard the robot on Sol 924, March 13th.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The first sampled rock, “John Klein,” in the Yellowknife Bay area near the landing site, provided evidence for meeting the mission’s primary science goal.

Analysis of that sample showed that early Mars offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life, including the key elemental ingredients for life and a chemical energy source such as used by some microbes on Earth.

This area at the base of Mount Sharp on Mars includes a pale outcrop, called "Pahrump Hills," that NASA's Curiosity Mars rover investigated from September 2014 to March 2015, and the "Artist's Drive" route toward higher layers of the mountain. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

This area at the base of Mount Sharp on Mars includes a pale outcrop, called “Pahrump Hills,” that NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover investigated from September 2014 to March 2015, and the “Artist’s Drive” route toward higher layers of the mountain. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

In the layers of lower Mount Sharp, the mission is pursuing evidence about how early Mars environments evolved from wetter to drier conditions.

 

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