NASA’s Curiosity rover will mark one year on Mars this week and has already achieved its main science goal of revealing ancient Mars could have supported life. The mobile laboratory also is guiding designs for future planetary missions.
To celebrate, the rover’s mission scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released this cool timelapse video. Watch a year of the Mars rover’s eye view – of driving, scooping and drilling from August 2012 through July 2013 – all in two minutes.
Since its landing on Mars a year ago (August 5, 2012 PDT, [August 6, 2012 EDT]), Curiosity has provided more than 190 gigabits of data; returned more than 36,700 full images and 35,000 thumbnail images; fired more than 75,000 laser shots to investigate the composition of targets; collected and analyzed sample material from two rocks; and driven more than one mile (1.6 kilometers).
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.