Happy Anniversary Curiosity!
Woooohoooo! Somebody pick up some RED velvet cake, get some RED party hats, and shout for joy until your RED in the face since it's the one year anniversary of the Curiosity Rover landing on the red PLANET!
Now we know what you're thinking, "but Mindhut, even though you're our favorite place on the web, we're worried that you might be off by a little bit since Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6th, 2012!"
Well first of all, thanks. You're our favorite readers ever! And second of all, it has only been one MARTIAN year since Curiosity landed. Last Tuesday marked the six hundred and eighty-seventh day since touchdown, and since Mars is further away from the sun than Earth is, it takes longer for it to complete one rotation around the sun.
So what has the little bot been up to? Well upon first landing, Curiosity found an empty riverbed with some traces of chemicals that microbes on Earth use! Last March, small amounts of methane were found on Mars. 90% of methane on Earth is produced from living creatures. Perhaps Curiosity will have some friends to celebrate its next anniversary with!
The year hasn't been without its snags. Late last year, Curiosity suffered some wheel damage, but the little guy just keeps trudging along! He's also taken tens of thousands of pictures, including a selfie upon landing to show he had arrived safely. Be warned if Curiosity invites you to a dinner party when its mission is over. It will show you such a loooooooooong slideshow of its trip.
In order to accommodate the damaged rover, NASA is using it's orbital Mars observation satellite to plan out a slower, but safer route.
Curiosity has also been analyzing the radiation on Mars to determine what steps would be necessary for a manned mission. We assume it's also planning out it's list of stuff it wants the astronauts to bring. Probably a lot of robot snacks and reading material. The surface of Mars is awe-inducing and beautiful but you probably get used to it eventually.
Curiosity is also amassing quite the rock collection, finding many materials similar to those that make up the crust of our Earth! The rover also brought a penny along with it... we're not exactly sure why though. Maybe fifty years ago that could buy you a while bag of Martian candy, but today? That won't do the rover much good. Sorry little guy.
We should also maybe stop referring to the rover as "little guy" since it weighs over two thousand pounds. And since landing, it has only gained weight by gathering soil and mineral samples. But we don't judge. You do you rover! And here's to another great year!
What are you hoping Curiosity discovers before its next anniversary?