One of the most interesting science stories of the year is the journey of the robotic rover Curiosity from Earth to the surface of Mars. The mission of Curiosity is to look for signs of microscopic life on the Red Planet.
Where Curiosity is right now, there is almost certainly no life. The robot is about a spaceship traveling through the near-vacuum of interplanetary space. Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars in August – 70 days from now.
Although the robot is all packed up, there is still a great deal to learn about the Curiosity mission as we wait for the Mars touchdown. The Mars Science Laboratory web site has a good amount of information about Curiosity, appropriate for people of all ages. One item that I find particularly interesting is a map, using the Solar System Simulator v4.0, showing where the spaceship carrying Curiosity is, in relation to Earth, Mars, the Sun and the rest of the planets in the Solar System.
Here’s the map of where the spaceship is today: