NASA took the Mars rover Curiosity for a test drive yesterday. This short video shows the results. Right now they’re at the initial checking-stuff-out stage, so the rover moved only a few meters. But everything appears to be copacetic.
Here’s a screenshot from the video showing its tracks.
The video also includes an animation of Curiosity’s short jaunt. Another piece in The Atlantic, which also describes the drive, shows a bit of whimsy on the part of Curiosity’s designers: the tires are shaped to leave three imprints in Morse Code:
. – – –
. – – .
. – . .
Those letters spell out “JPL,” for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. For scientists, that’s high humor, for it’s nothing decipherable by aliens.
Here’s a Morse-code tire: