NASA’s Curiosity rover may have just found the ultimate shortcut on Mars.
Rather than driving downhill to reach its designated location on Mars’ Greenheugh pediment, a journey that may take up to several months or even years, the rover will instead journey its way uphill and take a path that has never been driven by a NASA rover before.
The new path would get the rover to its new destination way ahead of schedule. And should the little rover find itself at risk, it would simply turn back and follow the longer route.
The Curiosity rover was parked at a drill site by the Hutton crater on the Red Planet where it was analyzing samples that it had dug up. Next up on its exploration to-do-list was to get to the Greenheugh pediment.