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NASA rover Curiosity

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NASA rover Curiosity?s first year on Mars in images

 

The Mars rover has shown us sites where water once flowed on the now-dusty planet and spotted rocks that might have been ideal to host life.

 

One year ago today, NASA?s Curiosity rover touched down safely on Mars. Since then it has collected 190 gigabytes of data and traveled more than a mile in its mission to understand the ancient environment of the planet. It has also sent more than 70,000 pictures back to its team on Earth. Here are the biggest milestones from Curiosity?s first year, as told by those pictures.

Curiosity starts taking pictures ? August 6, 2012

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Just after landing on Mars, Curiosity began taking dimly lit pictures of itself and the Martian surface. In this image, cameras captured the ghostly shadow the rover.

Evidence of flowing water ? September 14, 2012

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Large, rounded pebbles in and around a rock outcrop convinced scientists that this site used to be a strong flowing stream. The gravel was likely carried along by the water and deposited on the bedrock.

First soil scoops ? October 7, 2012

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Curiosity?s landing site, known as Gale Crater, was chosen because its soil might contain remnants of the planet?s shift from a wet to dry environment. The rover scooped up its first soil samples on October 7 and then snapped this self portrait on October 31. The scoop sites are visible on the left side next to Curiosity.

 

Later analysis of the soil collected revealed the ingredients for water and carbon, though it is not yet clear if the carbon was natural or contamination from the equipment.

On to Mount Sharp ? July 4

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Curiosity is now on its longest trek yet as it spends several months traveling five miles to Mount Sharp, pictured below in a photograph taken August 23, 2012. On July 8, it looked back on its progress since it left the Glenelg area, where it spent the first half of 2013.

 

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Curiosity travels 1 kilometer ? July 16, 2013

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A couple weeks shy of its one year anniversary on Mars, Curiosity traveled its 1,000th meter. The rover has been moving from its original landing site slowly because each data collection site can require days or weeks of work. If the continued operation of NASA?s past Mars rovers is any indication, Curiosity will be traveling across the Martian surface for many more years to come.

Images courtesy of NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 

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FYI: there is another Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity-style) rover platform that will be outfitted with different experiments and should launch to a different Mars location around 2020.

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there absolutely no blue sky there huh.

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Did it find out if the core of the planet is indeed ice?

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there absolutely no blue sky there huh.

Wrong. The main body of the Martian sky runs from reddish to orange during the day, but at sunset & sunrise the sky in the direction of the sun is indeed blueish.

Martian sunset (true colors)

Mars_sunset_PIA00920.jpg

Did it find out if the core of the planet is indeed ice?

The core of Mars is mostly solidified iron and perhaps 15% iron sulfides. At one time it was liquid like Earth's and it had a geomagnetic field, but as its core cooled the field mostly went bye-bye. There is a lot of subsurface ice, both dry ice and frozen water, and of course both of them on the surface of both poles.

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The core of Mars is mostly solidified iron and perhaps 15% iron sulfides. At one time it was liquid like Earth's and it had a geomagnetic field, but as its core cooled the field mostly went bye-bye. There is a lot of subsurface ice, both dry ice and frozen water, and of course both of them on the surface of both poles.

 

I think he was attempting a Total Recall joke..

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