Mars Rover Curiosity Wrapping Up Health Checkups

3:08 PM, Sep 12, 2012   |    comments
This is the first image taken by NASA's Curiosity rover.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - The NASA rover Curiosity is preparing to hit the Martian open road again after it wraps up its health checkups this week.

The car-size rover has trekked more than the length of a football field since landing on Aug. 5 in an ancient crater to investigate whether the environment could have been favorable for microbial life.

It took a driving break and planned to finish checking out its robotic arm and use its camera to track one of Mars' moons crawling across the face of the sun.

Current plans call for Curiosity to resume driving on Friday night toward a place where three types of terrain meet. Along the way, it will seek out rocks to examine.

Its ultimate destination is a mountain rising from the crater's center.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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