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Curiosity Rover Completes A (Martian) Year On Mars, Takes Selfie To Commend The Success

Update Date: Jun 24, 2014 09:04 AM EDT
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NASA's Curiosity Rover celebrated its first Martian year (687 Earth days)  on June 24. The rover had landed on the Red Planet on Aug 5, 2012. To honor its new year, Curiosity also took a selfie. 

Curiosity has been analyzing environmental conditions to determine whether or not they could have supported life on Mars. 

"It's too early for conclusions, but we expect the results to help us connect what we learned at Yellowknife Bay to what we'll learn at Mount Sharp," said John Grotzinger, Curiosity project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in a press release. "Windjana is still within an area where a river flowed. We see signs of a complex history of interaction between water and rock."

The rover has found the evidence that Mars once supported life after exploring an area called Yellowknife Bay. It drilled two slabs of mudstone and discovered samples which contained water. 

The rover has already completed its mission but the US space agency has decided to use the rover to continue exploring areas such as Mount Sharp until it is capable of doing so. 

"We are getting in some long drives using what we have learned," said Jim Erickson, Curiosity project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, according to The Register. "When you're exploring another planet, you expect surprises. The sharp, embedded rocks were a bad surprise. Yellowknife Bay was a good surprise."

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