Curiosity has completed nine years on Mars. It is a Mars rover. NASA launched the rover in November 2011 and it landed in August in the subsequent year. NASA has released a panorama shot taken by the rover to mark its ninth anniversary on Earth’s neighbor. The agency said that Curiosity is currently on the outskirts of Mount Sharp. The snapshot shows a wide view of the planet’s surface. The rover could be seen in the panorama shot. According to NASA, Curiosity is exploring its way towards the landing site in Gale Crater. The rover had landed in the Gale crater. It is climbing up the hill since then. The hill is located at the center of the crater. NASA said that Curiosity is active on Mars for more than 3305 Earth days. On Mars, it translates into 3217 sols.
NASA said that Curiosity is still active and is in a good condition. The agency said that it has covered a distance of nearly 16.19 miles since its arrival on the planet. The prime mission of Curiosity lasted for about two Earth years. But it is still operating on the planet and sending crucial data. Curiosity was sent to Mars to investigate the climate and geology of the Red Planet. According to NASA, the Gale crater has environmental conditions that are favorable to support microbial life. Therefore, exploring the Gale crater could shed light on mysteries surrounding the possible habitability as NASA plans for human exploration. The agency said that Curiosity is 1,500 feet above its landing level in Gale Crater. It can look up to the crater’s rim.
Curiosity is now going towards a region that is characterized by salty minerals or sulfates. It will study samples to understand why the Red Planet dried up. Scientists believe that the planet had once favorable conditions for hosting life. It was habitable just like the Earth is today. But the planet dried up slowly. Scientists say that finding biosignatures could tell about the planet’s evolution. NASA is the only agency that has landed multiple robots on Mars. Perseverance is the recent rover that landed on Mars in February this year. Interestingly, NASA used the same method to land Perseverance on the Red Planet which it had used for Curiosity’s touchdown.