Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Curiosity: facts in the Mars rover story from Time

Mars rover by claire-olio
Mars rover, a photo by claire-olio on Flickr.

A visit to Mars
1. Number of miles traveled between earth and Mars: 104 __ a) thousand b) million c) billion d) quadrillion.
2. The speed of the spacecraft before entering the landing phase: ___ miles per hour.
3. The Mars rover represents some __ years of work.
4. A Martian year is almost equivalent to two Earthly years. T / F
5. Scientists believe that Mars once fostered tiny living organisms called microbes. T / F
6. The rover landed in Gale __ . a) plain b) crater c) river d) storm.
7. The inquiry is looking for evidence of __ .
8. The direction in which the rover will be driven will be determined by scientists' examinations of the __ shots.
9. A galactic forensic lab is part of the rover's deck. T / F
10. The million-watt laser will primarily destroy the lunar roaches that have obstructed refueling in past missions. T / F
11. The chemical composition of Martian rocks will be analyzed by observing the light emanating from them. T / F
12. The rover has a power generator whose fuel is __ .

Mars in fiction:

The War of the Worlds (1898) by H. G. Wells. Features an attack on England by cephalothoracic Martians, and their later vulnerability to disease.

The Martian Chronicles (1950) by Ray Bradbury. Features human-like Martians with telepathic abilities. They have an advanced culture, but the human explorers are greeted with incomprehension and eventually the Martian civilisation is destroyed by human disease.