The layering pattern of the lamellar rocks photographed with the mast camera shows , They are formed in the bed of a small pond or stream . They are in “ curiosity ” From the clay rich area at the foot of a mountain called sharp mountain , It is found when moving to the sulfate rich area on the top of the mountain . As the rover climbed the mountain , The type of rock it sees is changing -- There is less and less evidence of lakes , More streams .
“ curiosity ” Project scientist Ashwin Vasavada say ：“ We no longer see the lake deposits we have seen for many years at the foot of sharp mountain . contrary , We see a lot of evidence of dry weather , Like dry sand dunes , Occasionally streams surround them . This is compared with the lakes that may have lasted for millions of years , It's a big change .”
“ curiosity ” On 2012 year 8 month 5 Landing on Mars , It's coming 10 birthday . Despite the harsh environment on Mars , Including low temperature 、 Sharp rocks and sandstorms , But its hardware is still strong . However , The rover did have a problem recently , It went into safe mode for several days .NASA announce ,“ curiosity ” The high temperature is recorded in an instrument control box inside , Safe mode is automatically activated , To prevent any damage caused by unknown problems .
Engineers are not sure what caused the problem , But they thought it might be a faulty sensor reading , Not the actual problem of the rover hardware .“ curiosity ” It soon resumed its scientific operation , And be able to collect data from its various instruments as usual . however , The hardware of the rover has a long-term problem , That is the wear of its wheels . During the ten years of the rover , The wheels of the rover have been damaged by sharp rocks on the surface of Mars , They have holes and tears in the tread , be called grousers. The rover can still be operated as usual , But the team is very careful about the way they drive , To minimize damage .
“ We have already passed the ground test to prove , If necessary , We can drive safely on the rim ,”NASA Jet propulsion laboratory “ curiosity ” project manager Megan Lin say .“ If one day we reach the point where most of the grids of a wheel are broken , We can make a controlled fracture to discard the remaining fragments . Due to recent trends , It seems unlikely that we need to take such action . The wheels are well maintained , It provides us with the traction we need to continue climbing .”