September 11, 2014

After 2 years and nearly 9 kilometers of driving, NASA's Mars Curiosity has arrived at the base of Mount Sharp to begin a whole new phase of exploration.


Hi, my name is Katie Stack and I’m a Curiosity rover mission scientist here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and this is your Curiosity Rover Report.

After 2 years and nearly 9 kilometers of driving, we finally arrived at the base of Mount Sharp.

Before we even arrived at Gale Crater, we used our orbital images to begin our exploration of Mt Sharp.

What we found was an important boundary separating the sediments of the Gale Crater floor and the layers of lower Mount Sharp. The rover is now here at this important boundary.

An earlier path to Murray Buttes would’ve delayed our arrival at lower Mount Sharp. However, a couple of months ago, we decided to take a different path because it was more scientifically interesting and that brought us to Pahrump Hills, where were encountering rocks on lower Mount Sharp nearly 2 kilometers before we originally expected.

This bright outcrop is Pahrump Hills. It’s about 15 meters across. At this location, we’re looking forward to obtaining our first drill sample of lower Mount Sharp. And while we’re excited about what we may have found here, our exploration of Mount Sharp is really just beginning.

As originally planned, we’ll be exploring Mount Sharp layer by layer. Along the way we’ll be encountering a number of interesting geologic features where we’re looking forward to continuing our search for ancient habitable environments at Gale Crater.

This has been your Curiosity Rover Report. Check back for more updates.

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