The race is on. After sending back a few grainy landscape photos, it's time for Curiosity to deliver Mars's close-ups. NASA's received new high-resolution photos taken from the rover's 34 and 100-millimeter Mast cams and as predicted, Mars's surface has a diverse range of geological layering that could help scientists learn if the planet harbors any form of life or not.
NASA announced today that Curiosity has successfully transmitted the first human voice from Earth to Mars and back, no doubt paving way for the transmission of will.i.am's "Reach for the Stars."
Here's what Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA, had broadcast to Mars through a recorded message:
"The knowledge we hope to gain from our observation and analysis of Gale Crater will tell us much about the possibility of life on Mars as well as the past and future possibilities for our own planet. Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future."
In addition to the recorded message transmission, NASA also released these photos of Mars, reaffirming Curiosity's mission to explore the layers and composition of nearby mountain Mount Sharp:
"This is an area on Mount Sharp where Curiosity will go," said Mastcam principal investigator Michael Malin, of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. "Those layers are our ultimate objective. The dark dune field is between us and those layers. In front of the dark sand you see redder sand, with a different composition suggested by its different color. The rocks in the foreground show diversity — some rounded, some angular, with different histories. This is a very rich geological site to look at and eventually to drive through."