The Curiosity rover, which has been on Mars for one year, took this selfie February 3. // NASA/JPL/MSSS/Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer
Happy anniversary, Curiosity!
As of today (Tuesday, August 6), the most recent Mars rover will have spent a full Earth year on Mars (though it has already adjusted to martian time and thinks counting in Earth years is provincial). In those 365 days, it has drilled more holes, snapped more photos, and shot more lasers than most of us will in our lifetimes. And because of its hard work — and the hard work of the earthling scientists who guide it across the surface of a foreign planet — it has discovered that Mars once was quite different from how it is now: habitable, at least in spots, and striped with knee-deep streams. Curiosity has shown us that the Red Planet isn’t as removed from our blue planet as we may think. And its success has proven, once again, that we can impose our technology on another planet — which means that someday soon, we may be able to impose ourselves on another planet.
To celebrate Curiosity’s rad research, check out these websites:
The New York Times made an interactive map showing where Curiosity was each day of its mission and stating what it was doing (even if it was just hanging out).
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has anniversary week activities at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/1stbday/. Watch videos, including “Twelve Months in Two Minutes” and tributes from team members! See Curiosity wearing a birthday hat! Send the rover a postcard!
Check out the #1YearOnMars hashtag on Twitter to see what everyone else is saying about the anniversary.
And while you’re at it, visit @MarsCuriosity and its doppelganger, the unofficial @SarcasticRover, who tweets things like, “Finding life on Mars is like finding love on Earth. You're alone and it takes forever, and also you're a giant robot.”
Enjoy Curiosity’s presence on the Internet, brought to you by its long-term presence on Mars!