(Vatican Radio) NASA is confirming that the Curiosity rover on Mars can roll out and
explore the planet. The rover did a short test drive Wednesday, confirming to researchers
that the drive system is working. NASA's Matt Heverly is the engineer who drives Curiosity.
“We have a fully functioning mobility system with lots of amazing exploration ahead,”
he said in a statement.
Curiosity's forward, reverse and turning movements
all work, NASA said, adding that the test journey was around six meters long. It was
a welcome bit of good news for the team, which had its first – and thankfully, apparently
minor – setback earlier in the week, when it became apparent that one of Curiosity's
two wind sensors had been damaged during its landing earlier this month. NASA also
decided on a name for the site where Curiosity touched down: Bradbury Landing, after
the science fiction author Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles,
who passed away in June of this year. Listen: