FYI, the Curiosity Rover has been active for over 3,214 days since its landing on the Gale crater on Mars some 9 years ago, and just like the Perseverance Rover, it’s meant to explore the parts of the planet for ancient life and much more.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently released another interesting panoramic view of the Gale Crater as snapped by the Curiosity Rover to celebrate its ninth-year survey of the red planet.
The clip includes where the Rover has been as well as where it’s going, and other vital information learnt about the area since it made its touchdown. Among these findings is the fact that one can see as far as 20 miles away on a clear winter’s day when there’s no dust in the air.
The panorama, as reported by Gizmodo, shows Curiosity’s journey up the side of Mount Sharp, and the detour it had to take in order to avoid a large sheet of Martian sand.
As the rover has journeyed up the side, the composition of the rocks had changed from a clay-rich base to one full of sulphide. As Deputy Project Scientist Abigail Fraeman explains, researchers are hoping to learn a little more about how Mars lost its water (the Gale Crater used to be a lake, after all) and how long it took before it became the dry desert planet we see before us.
QUICK FACT: NASA’s Curiosity rover is a car-sized Mars rover designed to explore the Gale crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The rover is still operational, and as of August 21, 2021, Curiosity has been active on Mars for 3214 sols (3302 total days; 9 years, 15 days) since its landing.