BRISBANE, Australia — Curiosity landed on Mars Monday, bringing back new data and images to the scientific community for the first time since the probe’s landing.
The landing is part of the “Curiosity” project, and the team is using a new set of cameras and a new rover called Curiosity Rover for a new search for signs of past water and methane, and other organic molecules.
NASA says the rover will help scientists understand how life came to Earth.
Scientists will analyze the rocks, soil and rock samples collected by Curiosity Rover to determine how ancient the surface of Mars was, and how the environment on Mars may have changed over time.
Curveball, the rover’s name for the drill used to collect the samples, landed on the red planet on a rugged stretch of desert called “Curvy Ridge” about six months ago.
The team will continue to use it for science and exploration.
For now, the team has been using the rover as a tool to study the planet, but NASA says more detailed analysis of the planet and its environment will be available soon.
Researchers will use the rover to investigate how life on Mars could have changed in the past.
After six months, the Curiosity rover will be sent on a longer trip to the Red Planet.
It will return to the surface in 2019.