Curiosity Rover Celebrates First Anniversary on Mars

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-08-08 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This past week marked the one-year anniversary of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity landing on Mars, a white-knuckle maneuver that resulted in more knowledge about our nearest planetary neighbor than ever before. The mission has accomplished its primary goal by determining that Mars has evidence of ancient environments suitable for life, and now the car-sized rover is en route to investigate the base of three-mile-high Mount Sharp, whose exposed layers might hold intriguing information about the Red Planet's history. The rover has already used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil, finding it has a complex chemistry. Water, sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity's arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover. In addition to reams of scientific data, Curiosity has dazzled Earth-bound denizens with spectacular photos of the landscape—not to mention some killer self-portraits. So far, the rover has beamed back more than 190 gigabits of data, including 70,000 images, and its laser has fired more than 75,000 times at 2,000 targets. That's right, Curiosity has a laser gun, too.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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