AFP / Greenbelt, USA
126 million kilometers from Earth, only in Mars's red and cold vulnerability, the baby's 4×4-sized robot begins shortly after twitching.
Like every day for six years, waiting for your directions. Approximately 9:30 PM, a message arrives from the California quarter before the hour arrives: 10 meters in length, rotate 45 degrees and automatically continues to this point.
The interest, as it is called, moves slowly, from 35 to 110 meters per hour, no more. Batteries and other restrictions explain the daily journey around 100 meters, reaching 220 meters.
When there, 17 cameras take pictures of the surroundings. His laser rocks the rocks. When faced with an especially attractive stone, it lacks sampling from a few grams.
At about 5:00 pm local time, a robot awaits NASA one of the three space satellites orbit around Mars to report its message: several hundred megabytes, and then they are transmitted to the main land surface antennas of their people's bosses.
NASA's Goddard Space Center Building 34, on the first floor of Greenbelt, one hour from Washington, scientists analyze this data every day. In this great room without windows that has tools and computers, look for signs of life on Mars.
The knowledge of the interior is a miracle of miniaturization: a chemical laboratory with a microwave oven, called SAM.
Charles Malespin, deputy director of the Curiosity Research Group, points out the tools included in the work plan: they are cut and compressed into a robot.
This is the most complex instrument NASA ever sent to another planet, says Malespin, who since 2006 has given his professional life. SAM analyzes the samples by heating them in the oven to 1000 ° C.
When preparing food, stones and land release gases. Then these gases are separated and sent to instruments that analyze them and take samples of the fingerprints.
In a goddess, French explorer Maeva Millan compares this chemical effect with an experiment made with known molecules. When the curves are imitated, he says: This is my good molecule.
Thanks to SAM, it is known that Mars has complex organic molecules and that the ancient surface of the planet's surface has been created, geologically much younger than scientists.
If we want to go to Mars, it's useless to import existing resources, Malespin adds, referring, for example, to water. We could dig soil, heat it and release water; Only with the stove, we will have as much water as we want, he says.
The same applies to various materials that could become fuel for a future rocket service station.
No control lever
On the other hand, there are about 15 men and women in the USA, Propulsina Lab, Chorro Pasadena, near Los Angeles, who are curious about it.
My favorite moment of the day is when I sat down to see the images sent from Mars, says Frank Hartman, who runs the Curiosity and the other Robots Opportunity, who collapsed in June, on the other side of the phone.
The drivers work is to plan robots and program teams to complete the March Day, which lasts 24 hours and 40 minutes. Without a joystick or real-time communication, it is unlikely that they will detect problems in the past, such as the Opportunity saturation or the holes that humorous plants touch on curiosity wheels.
We must keep in mind that we do not know almost anything about this place, says Hardman. Over the years, scientists and drivers have been added to their robots. When Opportunity broke out, after 14 years Hartman and his teammates felt crying. He says he retired from retirement.
From 2012, curiosity has increased by 19.75 kilometers. In one year it should achieve the goal: Mount Sharp. After a few months you will lose Martian monopoly. It is predicted that in the year 2020 two American and European robots will be planet.