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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Explores the Kimberley Waypoint

NASA’s Curiosity rover arrived at the Kimberley Waypoint five days ago. As the name suggests, it’s a stopping point on the rover’s journey to the base of Mount Sharp—but the Kimberley, named after the northern tip of Western Australia (because the Martian terrain bears some resemblance to the region’s orange-red savannas), is unique in its own right. As you can see below, it’s covered in a diverse array of rocks, and surrounded on almost all sides by some pretty distinctive terrain.

Kimberley Waypoint

An aerial view of the Kimberley Waypoint. Photo: NASA.

The Curiosity rover will soon find an ideal location to drill for samples, then test these samples using onboard equipment. The rover can’t dig very far into the dirt—its two-inch drill is intended primarily for collecting rock samples—but there are certainly things we can learn from studying the chemical composition of the unusual rocks near the Kimberley Waypoint, including clues that may suggest that water was once present in the region.

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Tom Head is an author or coauthor of 29 nonfiction books, columnist, scriptwriter, research paralegal, occasional hellraiser, and proud Jackson native. His book Possessions and Exorcisms (Fact or Fiction?) covers the recent demand for exorcists over the past 30 years and demonic possession.
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