For us, mere mortals, Mars is a no man’s land where survival seems like a distant dream. After all, no man has ever walked on its surface (as far as we know) and plans to send one to the red planet are only in the early stages of its development. However, humans have touched Mars through the durable wheels of Mars rovers. We’ve had 4 successful robotically operated Mars rovers (all of which were managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA) so far: Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit, and Curiosity.
As Opportunity’s mission was declared complete on February 13, 2019 when NASA lost all contact with the vehicle, Curiosity became the lone survivor on the red planet, rolling over its surface to examine and explore the unknown land all by itself. The spacecraft first landed on Mars on August 6, 2012 and started carrying out its objectives throughout the years. In fact, Curiosity did its job so well and held on for so long that its original mission duration of 687 days was expanded indefinitely.
Here’s how Curiosity looked 7 years ago and now
Ripples On Surface Of Martian Sand Dune
Curiosity is approaching its 8 year anniversary on Mars and while it is currently the only functional rover on the planet (after we all, unfortunately, had to say goodbye to Oppy), NASA has plans to send it some company in the shape of Mars 2020 rover. The 2020 mission is scheduled to start on 17 July to 5 August 2020 when the rocket carrying the rover will be launched. NASA also announced a student naming contest for the rover that was held in the fall of 2019. The final name will be announced in early March 2020, so we definitely have something to look forward to!
Curiosity Rover Finds And Examines A Meteorite On Mars
Curiosity’s Color View Of Martian Dune After Crossing It
First Sampling Hole In Mount Sharp
Martian Rock ‘Harrison’ In Color, Showing Crystals
Jake Matijevic Rock
Curiosity Took Dozens Of Mast Cam Images To Complete This Mosaic Of A Petrified Sand Dune
Remnants Of Ancient Streambed On Mars
Getting To Know Mount Sharp
Curiosity Self-Portrait At Martian Sand Dune
Outcrop In The Murray Buttes Region Of Lower Mount Sharp
Having Reached The Base Of Mount Sharp, Curiosity Captured This Image Of Its Rocky Surroundings
Mount Sharp Comes In Sharply
Mars Rover Curiosity In ‘Buckskin’ Selfie
Curiosity Self-Portrait At ‘Windjana’ Drilling Site
Curiosity Tracks In ‘Hidden Valley’ On Mars
Curiosity Visited An Area Named “Fracture Town” Which Contains Many Pointed, Layered Rock Formations
Strata At Base Of Mount Sharp
Curiosity Rover’s View Of Alluring Martian Geology
Resistant Features In ‘Pahrump Hills’ Outcrop
View From Mars Orbiter Showing Curiosity Rover At ‘Shaler’
Layers At The Base Of Mount Sharp
Focusing The 100-Millimeter Mastcam
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