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Curiosity Rover May Risk Life In Dangerous “Dingo Gap”

Maybe the dingo will eat our rover.


This week NASA is deliberating sending their Curiosity rover on an expedition into Dingo Gap- a mission that they admit could bring an end to Curiosity’s quest for knowledge, and leave her to die a lonely death far from our comforting embrace.


Dingo Gap, boys and girls.

The Gap is a small valley that NASA hopes to send Curiosity to explore, but entering it requires her to ascend a three-foot sand dune.

If she successfully breaches the Gap, Curiosity will be able to continue her mission with less chance of having her wheels punctured by rocks and sustaining the kind of damage seen below.


NASA doesn’t doubt Curiosity’s ability to ascend the dune, but after losing their Spirit rover in 2009 (RIP) to a sand trap, they worry that Curiosity could also become stuck or have a wheel damaged by rocks concealed in the sand.

The final call on the risky maneuver will be made later this week, after Curiosity takes a test drive on a dune around Dingo Gap.

Although I hate the thought of Curiosity being sent alone into Dingo danger, it’s important to remind ourselves, as we did on our latest podcast, that there is no plan to return these rovers to Earth to give them the hero’s welcome they deserve.

The best case scenario for Curiosity is that she will have many years of roving ahead of her before meeting her inevitable end. NASA’s concern is just for prolonging Curiosity’s usefulness to us, until she finally bites the dust and becomes another “marstyr” to the cause.

So burn out, don’t fade out, Curiosity! Go boldly where no rover has gone before, because what do you have to lose, you beautiful space goddess?

(via 109, image via NASA)


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