Mars rover begins six-week trek

Los Angeles - The Mars rover Curiosity is hitting the road.

It headed east on Tuesday, driving 52 feet (15 meters) toward a spot where it will use its robotic arm to drill into bedrock. It'll take weeks for the six-wheel rover to reach the site about a quarter mile away.

Soil clinging to the right middle and rear wheels of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity can be seen after the rover's third drive on Mars, August 28, 2012 in this handout photo courtesy of NASA. Credit: Reuters

Curiosity spent Wednesday at its new locale, snapping pictures of a distant mountain that is its ultimate destination. Intriguing layers of rocks have been spotted at the base and most of its time will be spent examining the lower slopes.

The car-size rover touched down in an ancient crater on August 5 to study whether the environment could have been favorable for life. Since landing, it has been checking out its instruments.

Next week, it will make a longer stop to continue its health checkups. - Sapa-AP