Happy Birthday Curiosity Rover! NASA Releases Condensed Video of Curiosity's Exploration
A year ago, Curiosity Rover landed safely on Mars and today is its first birthday.
NASA's Curiosity rover plunged through the Martian atmosphere to begin a nail-biting descent to the Red Planet's surface. NASA celebrated this momentous occasion by releasing a video which condenses snippets of what the rover has been doing over this past year. Curiosity have been scooping and drilling on our galactic neighbor's surface. The video was released by NASA and their Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The rover team sang "Happy Birthday" by using Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. It "sang" the song by vibrating at different frequencies.
"This is a first for NASA and for the world and music brings us all together, so this is fun," said Florence Tan, the SAM electrical lead engineer. Since one Mars year takes about 687 Earth days, perhaps Curiosity can look forward to another birthday party before its next Earth-years anniversary comes around.
Curiosity is will travel 4.4 miles, that is the distance to the foothills of Mount Sharp, an 18,000-foot mountain whose rocks could provide clues to a time on Mars when life could have thrived.
Curiosity is driving at a safe and steady pace, making about 100 yards per day, and the journey is estimated to take between eight and nine months.
According to NASA, Curiosity has already traveled more than a mile, taken more than 36,700 images and fired 75,000 laser shots to analyze rocks and soil.