back to article Robot rover Curiosity sets out on first long Mars trip

The Mars-invading laser-toting nuclear-powered space truck Curiosity is off on a 400-metre jaunt to try out its life-hunting drill. Soil clinging to Curiosity's wheels These boots were made for walking NASA's rover is trundling eastward and completed a 16-metre jolly on Tuesday that was longer than its first two excursions …

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  1. Figgus
    Coat

    I am still waiting for the news that the rover got stuck in a ditch, discovered proof of life, and nobody knows who got it there in the first place because of a massive equipment failure.

    Mine's the one with the Master's from MIT in the pocket, but no Doctorate.

    1. John H Woods

      Downvoter is ...

      ... Barry Kripke

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Downvoter is ...

        You mean, Bawwy Kwipke?

  2. JDX Gold badge

    Why so slow?

    They've literally the whole planet. why trundle a few metres and stop for several days rather than cover some serious ground? Surely 16 or 50m away is going to be pretty similar to where it is already.

    1. Graham Bartlett
      Facepalm

      Re: Why so slow?

      Because if you happen to twat into a rock and bend something, it's a bit difficult to send a bloke up there with a screwdriver.

    2. The lone lurker

      Re: Why so slow?

      They chose Gale Crater as a landing site to avoid this. The area around Mount Sharp is believed to show a good sample of Mars geology from the last two billion years with the added bonus of having the whole thing covered by water at some point in mars' history.

      They did this also with the Apollo landing sites, it's important to maximize the science gains in the shortest time possible as equipment failure or accident could be lurking just around the corner.

    3. SadBloke

      Re: Why so slow?

      Because the mighty nuclear power plant produces a whole 100W of power, so it isn't rushing anywhere. And the rocket blast might have uncovered something interesting.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Why so slow?

        "Because the mighty nuclear power plant produces a whole 100W of power, so it isn't rushing anywhere. And the rocket blast might have uncovered something interesting."

        Precisely, no need to overclock the on-board computer

    4. Tank boy
      Trollface

      Re: Why so slow?

      Probably waiting for data from the UK rover. Oh... My bad.

    5. MajorTom

      Re: Why so slow?

      They're exploring, not commuting.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optional Title

    I, Quorx of Barsoom for one welcome your trundling robotic overlords.

  4. Martin 47

    So if, and its a big if, it is linked to the world wide web should we now call it the solar system wide web?

    and if its not linked to the www forget I said anything.

    1. jai

      so you should be able to contact it at http://ssww.curiosity.mars/ :)

      1. Graham Marsden
        Coat

        Yeah, but the lag is terrible...!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like it's still trying to figure out how to work the camera.....

    .....most of the pictures it's taken so far appear to be of its feet!!

    1. SuperHoopMango

      Re: Looks like it's still trying to figure out how to work the camera.....

      So, basically, you're saying that Curiosity is drunk?

      That's what has generally happened when you get pictures of feet....

      1. Kharkov
        Devil

        Re: Looks like it's still trying to figure out how to work the camera.....

        When I'm drunk, it's not feet I take pictures of...

        So I'd have nothing to take picture of on Mars then.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Looks like it's still trying to figure out how to work the camera.....

        Either that or Curiosity is a teenage girl.

    2. mhenriday
      Coat

      Feet ?!!

      I usually manage to avoid feet, it's the fingers over the lens that trip me up (my most profound apologies for the mixed metaphor)....

      Henri

    3. Colin Wilson 2

      Re: Looks like it's still trying to figure out how to work the camera.....

      It does seem to need a better way of taking photos of itself in it's surroundings.

      I wonder if micro Quadrotors (with miniature cameras) would work on Mars? Is there enough atmosphere for them? If so - maybe next time!

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Coat

    HAH!

    "Mars-invading laser-toting nuclear-powered"

    You missed "pop-blaring"

    Mine's the one with the Master's from ETHZ in the pocket, but no Doctorate.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: HAH!

      Yeah, how the heck are we going to find signs of life on Mars if Curiosity keeps sending'em running for cover by blaring horrible pop music at'em?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HAH!

        Hadn't you heard? Brontosaurus are partial to a bit of Willi-am.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glenelg - very nice part of this world. Also, its the only (Scottish) place name that i can think of that is a palindrome.

  8. dan_in _ohio

    Nuclear raygun tank on the prowl

    <snip>

    Nuclear raygun tank on the prowl

    The Mars-invading laser-toting nuclear-powered space truck Curiosity

    </snip>

    Do you think that you could get any more sensational?

    come on....that reactor puts out enough energy to light a couple of 60 watt light bulbs. Try keeping things in perspective would you?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Nuclear raygun tank on the prowl

      Hi, you must be new around here.

      C.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Happy

        Hmmm

        Is that diode-sign or dio-design?

        (enquiring minds need to know)

        1. MrT

          Re: Hmmm

          Designed by Ronnie James Dio. Not sure Primark carry that range...

          Still, with that laser maybe there is some connection ...

          “They blind your eyes and steal your dreams"...?

        2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm

          If the former, does I hope it doesn't develop a pain in all the diodes down its left side.

    2. Mike Flugennock
      FAIL

      Re: Nuclear raygun tank on the prowl

      Uhmmm... I think maybe you missed the sarcasm, as we Yanks don't do sarcasm very well.

      I suspect the Reg headline writers use all caps in some headlines not just as a parody of British tabloid media, but also as a way of indicating sarcasm to Americans.

      Perhaps the headline should've read "NUCLEAR RAYGUN TANK on the prowl".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nuclear raygun tank on the prowl

      Why would you expect different from the sun of the IT world?

    4. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Try keeping things in perspective would you?

      It's a robot on frigging MARS!

      Mars!

      How's that for a big cup of perspective?

  9. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Pint

    "The Mars-invading laser-toting nuclear-powered space truck Curiosity"

    Brilliant. That's what I come to El Reg for...

  10. Gobhicks
    Happy

    OR

    Spacetruckinlasertotinnukepoweredrockerbogiedgalerovinlifesensincooltechof....NASA!

  11. Silverburn
    Go

    "mobility system"

    aka WHEELS.

  12. Crisp Silver badge

    Rocker Bogie

    I was disappointed that the Rocker Bogie system didn't get a mention.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aand in other news

    Has anyone done a study into the effects of laser pulses on hypothetical Martian life forms?

    Would hate to be the guy who turns up and finds a lot of sand worms with eye patches and white sticks waving lawsuits.

    AC/DC

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