The Mars Curiosity rover’s wheels keep on turning – for 18 months it has been working its way across the giant Gale Crater, heading towards the stratified five-kilometre tall slopes of Mount Sharp. On its travels it stops off at rocks or other interesting looking geological features to investigate the past environment of the red planet. How do scientists, many millions of kilometres away, decide where to send Curiosity and what to investigate on the surface?
Professor Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College, London, is a Participating Scientist working on the Curiosity rover and is involved in analysing the ancient sedimentary rocks on the red planet’s surface. In his AstroFest talk on the morning of Saturday 8 February, Professor Gupta will describe a day in the life of the Curiosity rover, regale the audience with its story so far and provide an insight into how scientists plan Curiosity’s adventures.