NASA Mars rover begins trek to new destination

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? The Mars rover Curiosity is hitting the road.

It headed east Tuesday, driving 52 feet 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.

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 Aug. 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.