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Space & Astronomy

Curiosity rover celebrates its 6th birthday

By T.K. Randall
August 6, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments



Curiosity has spent its existence trundling around on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA
The iconic rover, which landed on Mars six years ago, has celebrated with a self-congratulating Tweet.
When it launched from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas V rocket back in November 2011, there were concerns that the mission would end in failure - not only because of the rover's large size relative to previous rovers, but also because of the ground-breaking 'sky crane' landing system needed to get it on to the surface of Mars in one piece - something that had never been used in a mission before.

Much to everyone's relief however, Curiosity touched down successfully in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012 to rapturous applause from the mission team - it was a tremendous achievement.

In the years that followed, the car-sized rover would go on to cover more than 11 miles of the Red Planet's dusty terrain, taking pictures, recording data and analyzing samples.
Now in celebration of its six years on Mars, the rover's Twitter account has been updated with a celebratory message alongside a photograph of its own nameplate.

"I touched down on #Mars six years ago," the message reads. "Celebrating my 6th landing anniversary with the traditional gift of iron... oxide. (It puts the red in Red Planet.)"

Here's hoping that Curiosity will continue to explore Mars for many more years to come.



Source: CNET.com | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by acute 5 years ago
It must be boring, all alone on Mars, counting electric sheep.
Comment icon #2 Posted by John Allanson 5 years ago
He has a chat when his mate goes by!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 5 years ago
It needs a flying iRover named Eva to keep it company. And metal leaves over its camera lenses so it can emote.
Comment icon #4 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
Doesn't it make you wonder if all the iron oxide on Mars is from a long dead civilization? Mother nature took care of all the building by just oxidizing then away.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Myles 5 years ago
What an incredible achievement. 34 million miles away.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
A civilisation that built all its buildings out of iron would not have been particularly impressive.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Myles 5 years ago
I don't know about that. It depends what is available and for how long you wanted it to stand. It is extremely abundant. It is very strong. Has a decent lifespan. Can easily be molded. If I was a piggy, I would choose steel over straw, sticks and maybe even bricks. Of course, I would like to have a stainless steel house.


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