Curiosity Rover Completes Nine Years On Mars: Everything It Has Unearthed Till Now

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NASA Curiosity rover has completed nine years exploring Mars, sending back volumes of data back to Earth. Looking back, the tiny, car-sized rover headed to Mars in November 2011 and finally landed on Mars on August 5, 2021. The touchdown inside Mars' Gale Crater has been revolutionary, helping scientists better under the Red Planet since then.

 
Curiosity Rover Completes Nine Years On Mars

Curiosity Rover Celebrates 9th Anniversary On Mars

The nine years on Mars have been extraordinary for the Curiosity rover and the team operating it back on Earth. The Mars rover has traveled 25.98 km over these years and its odometer continues to keep ticking for years to come. The team says it can last up to 14 years, thanks to the nuclear power system on it.

Curiosity Rover Helped Discover Red Planet

Curiosity has been a pivotal role in understanding and exploring Mars. One of the key understandings gathered from the rover is how Mars has changed over time. The rover has shown how the Gale Crater could have hosted a lake-and-stream system that could have been capable of supporting Earth-like life.

Moreover, Curiosity has also been instrumental in understanding the geographic and climatic conditions of Mars. The samples sent back to Earth have helped to determine how Mars' relatively warm climate has changed to a cold one now. Plus, it has now unearthed the presence of liquid water on the Martian surface, further unraveling the mystery of the planet.

Carbon-containing, organic chemicals have also been collected by the Curiosity rover. Plus, concentrations of methane have also been discovered on Mars. To note, Methane on Earth is generally generated by living creatures. At the same time, Methane can also be produced by abiotic processes. Despite this data, the presence of Methane on Gale Crater is still a mystery.

Curiosity Has Company Now

Curiosity has now completed nine years in exploring the Red Planet and it isn't just done yet. Now, the rover has got company from a couple of other robots as well. There is the NASA InSight lander, which landed on Mars in 2018. There is also the Perseverance rover, whose main mission is to find sources of past life on the planet.

 

Perseverance landed on Mars quite recently has several modern equipment, including the Ingenuity helicopter. While these are rovers from NASA, China has also joined the league of Mars explorers. Zhurong rover, which is part of the Tianwen-1 has landed on Mars this year and is designed to last three months. With all these rovers up there, going to Mars is not far away!

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