Five Reasons You Should Pay Attention to NASA's Mission to Mars

Categories: Culture News

Behold Mount Sharp!.jpg
A view of Mount Sharp taken by the Curiosity rover
In yet another giant metaphorical leap for all of humankind, scientists landed the Mars science rover Curiosity in the Gale Crate early Monday morning. Since then, there have been a lot of science terms and fuzzy, black-and-white Martian photos floating around the Internet.

See also: NASA Releases Curiosity's First "True Color" Image of Mars
See also: Five Space Video Games to Play Before We Colonize Mars

Here to clear away some of the space dust for our not-so-science-based minds -- and explain just what they're hoping to find up there -- is Mike Veto, a graduate research assistant at the ASU Mars Space Flight Facility.

Michael Veto, ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration graduate research assistant
Veto has worked alongside the four ASU professors involved with the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity mission including Meenakshi Wadhwa, Jack Farmer, Alberto Behar and Jim Bell.

Behar, an engineer, worked on the design of the spacecraft, while the other three scientists designed instruments for the rover and help interpret the data collected during the mission. They, along with everyone working to keep MSL in working order, will spend the next few weeks living "on Mars time" while they keep things running from the Jet Propulsion Lab in California.

We sat down with Veto to find out why we should be more than curious about Curiosity. Here are five reasons scientists are excited about landing the Curiosity rover on the red planet:

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