Questions regarding the Curiosity rover launched by NASA for the purpose of Mars exploration.
Curiosity is the name of a rover that NASA launched to Mars on November 26, 2011 as part of its Mars Science Laboratory mission. It runs on nuclear power and has an expected lifespan of about fourteen years. Its original mission was planned for two years, but has been extended indefinitely.
Curiosity's mission objectives include the following:
Determine the nature and inventory of organic carbon compounds
Inventory the chemical building blocks of life (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur)
Identify features that may represent the effects of biological processes
Investigate the chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical composition of the martian surface and near-surface geological materials
Interpret the processes that have formed and modified rocks and soils
Assess long-timescale (i.e., 4-billion-year) atmospheric evolution processes
Determine present state, distribution, and cycling of water and carbon dioxide
Characterize the broad spectrum of surface radiation, including galactic cosmic radiation, solar proton events, and secondary neutrons