Mars Rover Drives on Red Planet

Posted August 22nd, 2012 at 3:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. Mars rover Curiosity has successfully competed its first drive on the Red Planet.

NASA engineer Matt Heverly said the rover drove 4.5 meters Wednesday, rotated and backed up 2.5 meters. He said the drive confirmed that the soil on the planet is firm.

Pictures from the Mars rover showed tire tracks made during the drive. NASA says the rover has completed taking several soil samples from the planet's surface, with everything “going extremely well.”

Curiosity is loaded with instruments to investigate the Martian geology, weather and radiation levels. It is on a two-year, $2.5 billion mission to help investigate whether life ever existed on Mars or could in the future.