back to article Curiosity preps for first Martian road trip

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has wiggled its four corner wheels for the first time to get ready for its first drive across the surface of the Red Planet. Curiosity's rear right wheel The $2.5bn six-wheeled Martian nuclear truck has been sat still on its landing site for the last two weeks, but is now gearing up to trundle out …


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  1. Timbo Bronze badge

    wind sensor fault

    quote: "One possibility is that pebbles lofted during the landing hit the delicate circuit boards on one of the two REMS booms," said Curiosity deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada.

    When I saw one of the first pics showing the top of Curiosity, my first thought was "There's a load of unprotected wires on the top there".....and other reports of the sensor fault claim it might be down to "cut wires"....

    Given the method of landing meant a lot of surface material was going to be thrown up the the Sky Crane, you'd have thought that someone would have ensured that these wires were protected. I also wonder if these exposed wires have good enough "outdoor" properties to protect them against heat/cold etc.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: wind sensor fault

      Yeah, you should send your own probe to Mars, show them how it's done.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wind sensor fault

        "Yeah, you should send your own probe to Mars, show them how it's done."

        Sergeant Bash would beat the Mars Rover to a pulp. They should have sent him instead.

      2. Timbo Bronze badge

        Re: wind sensor fault

        >>Yeah, you should send your own probe to Mars, show them how it's done.

        Well, if I won consecutive Euromillions and National Lottery draws and had the income of Soros, Beckham, and Rooney I would.

        Just because I can't send my own up, doesn't for one minute prevent me from having an opinion about the designers of Curiosity who appear to have misjudged the problems that their choice of landing the craft would have.....

        I'll wait until the final report on what probably caused the sensor fault...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wind sensor fault

      I thought exactly the same thing. Some of the cabling was very exposed and tied together with tape as far as I can see. Weight reduction is key of course but it did look rather fragile in places considering the environment it would be exposed to.

    3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: wind sensor fault

      Yes; poor show!

      They shouldv'e sealed the weatherstation in a box to protect it!


    4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: wind sensor fault

      > There's a load of unprotected wires on the top there

      Maybe it's a hot-wire wind speed gauge? Simple, and lightweight, but obviously requires an exposed wire.

  2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up


    Love this kind of science, even if I first misread the "Russian instrument looking for water" as "Russian instrument looking for wodka"

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    It's science

    It's Mars

    It's good!

  4. Arno

    road trip?

    so the Martians did build roads on which to have a trip after all.

  5. Thomas 4
    Thumb Up


    Screw weather update apps on my phone. I want goddamn *MARTIAN* weather reports on phone!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That link to the Martian weather report shows humidity. Erm, so does that mean there is water vapour in the atmosphere?

    1. Grikath

      Re: Humidity?

      Yes there is.

      Although admittedly about as much as you'd find in death valley during a summer heatwave, but it's there.

      1. AndyS

        Re: Humidity?

        Pretty rough summer heat wave that one, at -11 to -71C!

  7. frank ly

    "... hydrogen on Mars is an indicator of water."

    Not hydrocarbons, carbohydrates, etc?

  8. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    More to the point

    Is that a *joystick* on the rover there in the top-right of the image. Who, or what are they expecting to drive this thing?

    Obvious icon is obvious...

    1. David Given

      Re: More to the point

      It's a sundial, believe it or not.

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