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Curiosity's wind sensor was damaged during Mars landing

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During its descent to Mars, it appears as though one of the Curiosity rover's wind sensors sustained damage.

NASA Curiosity Mars Rover
NASA Curiosity Mars Rover

Curiosity's Mars landing was a thrilling event, but it wasn't without its problems — NASA has discovered that one of the rover's wind sensors was damaged during the descent. While the exact cause is unclear, the team believes that stones and other debris from the martian surface may have been tossed up during the landing, damaging the rover's wiring. The damage leaves Curiosity with just one working wind sensor. "It degrades our ability to detect wind speed and direction when the wind is blowing from a particular direction," explained NASA's Ashwin Vasavada, "but we think we can work around that." Thankfully none of Curiosity's other parts have been reported as damaged — and we already know that both the rover's head-mounted laser and its wiggly wheels are working just fine.