In the year since, scientists have been using the one-ton rover to explore a region that was filled with the telltale signs of ancient water flowing in a stream. Curiosity has also been drilling into rocks, and finding the chemical ingredients needed to support microbial life.
Starting in 2014, Curiosity will be exploring the base of the giant central mountain at the crater landing site, Mount Sharp. It will be joined by MAVEN, NASA’ latest robotic orbiter, which is scheduled to launch on November 18, 2013 and will arrive at Mars next year. MAVEN will try and unlock the mystery as to why the planet is losing its atmosphere.
But today, the focus is on Curiosity and the scientific discoveries it has started to unravel over the past year. To celebrate its anniversary, team members from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are sharing highlights from the Curiosity mission in a livestream videocast from their headquarters. (Related: Q&A with Curiosity’s Chief Scientist, John Grotzinger.) We’ll be highlighting some of what they share through their livestream right here on our blog. – Andrew Fazekas and Melody Kramer
- The JPL gang touts the Mars Rover’s appearance on The Colbert Report, where Colbert announced that America had “Mar’sed it!”
- Discussion of Seven Minutes of Terror.
- Bobek Ferdowski sighting. You might know him as the “NASA Mohawk Guy.” (Related: “Meet One of Mars Rover Curiosity’s Earthbound Twins.”)
- The team is reminiscing over some of the best pictures taken on Mars. You can see some of them right here.
- NASA is asking you to use the hashtag #1YearonMars if you’d like to share your thoughts about the mission on Twitter. The twitter handles of the four panelists are @tweetsoutloud, @veronicaMcG, @Doctor_Astro, and @Steltzner
Where were you when Curiosity landed last year? Let us know in the comments.