Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

August 5, 2013

NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrates 1 year on Mars

LOS ANGELES —

Mount Sharp has beckoned Curiosity since the NASA rover made its grand entrance on Mars exactly a year ago, dangling from nylon cables to a safe landing.

If microbes ever existed on Mars, the mountain represents the best hope for preserving the chemical ingredients that are fundamental to all living things.

After a poky but productive start, Curiosity recently pointed its wheels south, rolling toward the base of Mount Sharp in a journey that will last many months. Expect Curiosity to channel its inner tourist as it drives across the rock-strewn landscape, dodging bumps and taking in the scenery.

“We do a lot of off-roading on a lot of little dirt roads,” said mission manager Jennifer Trosper.

Curiosity will unpack its toolkit once it arrives at its destination to hunt for the organic building blocks of life.

Scientists have been eager for a peek of Mount Sharp since Curiosity, the size of a small SUV, touched down in an ancient crater near the Martian equator on the night of Aug. 5, 2012.

The world wondered whether Curiosity would nail its landing, which involved an acrobatic plunge through the thin atmosphere that ended with it being gently lowered to the ground with cables.

Engineers had to invent new tricks since Curiosity was too massive to bounce to a landing cocooned in airbags — the preferred choice for previous rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

After seven terrifying minutes, a voice echoed through mission control at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Touchdown confirmed,” said engineer Allen Chen. “We’re safe on Mars.”

Scientists and engineers clad in matching sky-blue polo shirts erupted in cheers. Some were so excited that they overshot their high-fives.

Curiosity became a pop sensation. Several of Curiosity’s handlers including Bobak “Mohawk Guy” Ferdowsi became science rock stars.

The technical prowess required to pull off such a landing has “captured the imagination of a whole new generation of prospective explorers,” said American University space policy professor Howard McCurdy, who has closely followed the $2.5 billion mission.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • bridge work continues Portion of 4180 Road remains closed for completion of bridge work
    A portion of 4180 Road will remain closed through at least Thursday as workers complete a bridge widening project on the south end of Claremore Lake.
     

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rogers County Audit:
    A recent report issued by Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones documented Rogers County Clerk Robin Anderson solicited donations from several Rogers County vendors.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Students paint mural Catoosa High School artists paint mural to instill respect, inspiration

    Catoosa High School students, Devin Jackson and Spencer Plumlee, recently put the finishing touches on a mural that took more than a year to complete. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local attorneys fight to eliminate judgment

    Claremore attorneys — Thomas H. Williams and Jack E. Gordon Jr. —   filed a petition Tuesday to vacate the $27.9 million judgment awarded to Material Service Corp. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Rogers County Water Dist. 16 receives grant

    Rogers County Rural Water District No. 16 received a $24,999 grant Tuesday to help finance expansion of the district’s water supply infrastructure.  

    April 18, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until June 24

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until June 24-26, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Harps Food opens new store in Inola

    On April 23, Harps Food Stores will reach a new milestone in their company’s history with the opening of its 75th store. 

    April 17, 2014

  • helping children Tri-County CASA seeks additional volunteers as child abuse cases increase

    From 2010-2013, Oklahoma has seen an increase in children entering foster care. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports, approximately 11,000 children are in state’s custody because of child abuse or neglect — 4,000 in the Tulsa area alone and more than 100 in Rogers County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge refuses to dismiss Grubowski in DA suit

    A judge has denied businessman Myron Grubowski's motion to remove him from the defamation lawsuit filed by District Attorney Janice Steidley against sponsors of last fall's unsuccessful citizens petition for a local grand jury investigation of her  office.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

    April 17, 2014