On Friday, NASA announced that the Mars Curiosity Rover celebrated a decade on the Red Planet. The agency also released a new poster print showcasing the vehicle and encouraging readers to "stay curious."
It's been a busy decade on Mars.
After ten years, 18 miles (29 km), and 500,000 photos, @MarsCuriosity is still rolling strong in its quest for signs of ancient life. As Curiosity moves forward, take a look back with us at what it's accomplished: https://t.co/zX6MeG2QPt pic.twitter.com/26CadYeGRk
— NASA (@NASA) August 6, 2022
"Ten years ago today, a jetpack lowered NASA’s Curiosity rover onto the Red Planet, beginning the SUV-size explorer’s pursuit of evidence that, billions of years ago, Mars had the conditions needed to support microscopic life," NASA said in its statement about the rover's special day.
Since landing, Curiosity has driven nearly 18 miles and climbed 2,050 feet high while exploring Gale Crater and the foothills of Mount Sharp. The support team that guides and works on the rover to keep it running employees hundreds of dedicated engineers.
More to Come
Curiosity's fans sounded off online in response to NASA's poster release.
"I cannot believe it's been a decade already," one Twitter netizen said Saturday. "Time goes WAY too fast."
There's no need to worry whether the rover will continue exploring the Red Planet, though, because NASA extended its mission for an additional three years back in April. In late June, older Curiosity data revealed organic carbon on the planet, which could be a sign of ancient life.
Curiosity's clearly still going, and it'll have new companions on Mars soon enough. Last month NASA said it was sending two Ingenuity-class helicopters onboard its upcoming Sample Retrieval Lander.
Between Curiosity, new helicopters, the Perseverance rover and future missions on Martian soil, humanity is sure to learn more about the landscape for years to come.
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