Los Angeles [US], September 20: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has reached a ridge on Mars, which preserved an intriguing record of the Red Planet's watery past, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, the United States.
Following one of the most difficult climbs the mission has ever faced, Curiosity arrived at an area where it could study the long-sought ridge with its 2-meter robotic arm on Aug. 14, according to JPL.
The ridge, named GedizVallis Ridge, is believed to be a remnant of powerful ancient debris flows.
"After three years, we finally found a spot where Mars allowed Curiosity to safely access the steep ridge," said AshwinVasavada, Curiosity's project scientist at JPL. "It's a thrill to be able to reach out and touch rocks that were transported from places high up on Mount Sharp that we'll never be able to visit with Curiosity."
While scientists are still poring over the imagery and data from GedizVallis Ridge, Curiosity has already turned to its next challenge: finding a path to the channel above the ridge so that scientists can learn more about how and where water once flowed down Mount Sharp, according to JPL.
Launched on Nov. 26, 2011, Curiosity is the largest and most capable rover ever sent to Mars. It landed on Mars on Aug. 5, 2012.