Next for Mars rover: Mountain mapping

The steep road ahead

Curiosity’s cameras show Mount Sharp in the distance. The rover will begin climbing the mountain in coming months, following Martian geological history as it climbs higher and examining as much as 4.5 billion years of planetary material. Credit: NASA/JPL

All of planet Earth seemed to follow the rover Curiosity’s harrowing descent to the surface of Mars. Curiosity’s early discoveries showed that liquid water once flowed on the Martian surface, but the big discoveries still lie ahead, including Mount Sharp, three miles high. Ralph Milliken, a participating scientist on the Curiosity mission, has returned to Brown and talked with Kevin Stacey about what lies ahead for Curiosity.