NASA's rover spots something it hasn't seen in its 10 years on Mars

One of NASA's Mars rovers has been programmed to change its course away from a carpeted large field of dangerous objects.

Published Fri, Apr 8 2022 12:33 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, May 2 2022 12:01 AM CDT

NASA's Curiosity rover has been exploring the large mountain called the "Greenheugh Pediment" for most of March and is now making its way back down the mountain's southern side.

NASA's rover spots something it hasn't seen in its 10 years on Mars 01 |

The Curiosity team identified a problem ahead of the Mars rover that originally landed on the Red Planet back in August 2012. There was a large field of objects called "ventifacts" on the rover's route. These objects are rocks that have been sharpened from the harsh martian winds, and in the past, Curiosity's wheels have been damaged when the rover traverses over the terrain.

Notably, ventifacts are found all over Mars, but according to, the field of ventifacts ahead of the rover was the most Curiosity has seen in its nearly 10 years on the Red Planet. NASA officials have nicknamed the sharp rocks "gator-back", as the rock resembles the rough scales on the back of an alligator. The Curiosity team is now mapping out a new course for the Mars rover that will take it through much safer terrain as it continues to explore the 3.4-mile-tall mountain it has called home since 2014, Mount Sharp.

Read more: NASA satellite spots helicopter flying on Mars' surface

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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