Since it landed on Mars on August 5, 2012, Curiosity has been exploring the red planet and helping scientists learn new facts about Mars.
The mission of the rover was to see whether Mars could have supported life as well as learn more about the planet's geology and atmosphere. Thanks to Curiosity, researchers have learned that Mars contained water and chemicals that are the building blocks of life.
On March 6, 2020, Curiosity climbed Greenheugh Pediment and set a record for the steepest climb. Greenheugh Pediment is a 3-mile (or 5 kilometers) high sheet of rock on top of a hill, and Curiosity took three drives just to measure it!
Curiosity Takes A Selfie!
Curiosity is equipped with navigation cameras that film in black and white, and a Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) for taking closeup images of sand grains and rocks on Mars.
On February 26, 2020, just before reaching the top of Greenheugh Pediment, Curiosity turned around and took a 360-degree selfie of itself and the majestic scene below. By remotely rotating MAHLI to face the rover, scientists took selfies of Curiosity from different angles. MAHLI images only cover a small area, so 86 smaller images were needed to get the full picture.
This year, Curiosity will celebrate its ninth birthday! It was originally scheduled to come back to Earth in 2013, but scientists had decided it would stay on Mars for an indefinite amount of time. Thanks to Curiosity, we know much more about Mars than we ever could have imagined!