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Today Marks 3000 Days on Mars For the Genius ’Curiosity Rover‘ – See NASA Celebration in Photos

Tuesday was the 3000th day, or “Sun,” during which NASA’s Curiosity Rover has been rolling across the surface of the Red Planet.

The images that the rover has transmitted have colored the dreams of thousands of Star Wars, Star trekand John carter fans, and our understanding of what the closest and potentially habitable planet looks like has increased with each photo.

Making landfall on August 6, 2012, Curiosity He proceeded to begin his six-year ascent up the side of Mount Sharp, a three-mile-high mountain.

Still climbing after all this time, he stopped on November 18, 2020 to use the mast camera and take a series of 122 images on the mission’s sun 2946. Sewn together, they form a wide-angle shot of Gale Crater, a 96-mile-wide bowl in which Mount Sharp sits.


A Press release from NASA describes the geology of the Mount Sharp panorama: “The curved rock terraces that define the area can form when there are harder and softer layers of rock on a slope. As the softer layers erode, the harder layers form small cliffs, leaving behind the bank-like formations.

“Our science team is excited to discover how they formed and what they mean to the ancient environment within Gale,” said Curiosity builder and managing scientist Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

It is just one of many discoveries that the Curiosity Rover has made, and will continue to make as it roams, millions of miles from home.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover spotted this dust devil with one of its navigational cameras around 11:35 a.m. Mars time on August 9, 2020.

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To celebrate its three thousandth day on Earth, here’s a photographic journey of the rover’s six-year climb up the slope of Mount Sharp, as it encounters giant sand dunes, fascinating geology, captivating rock formations, dust storms and more. .

2015: A view from the “Kimberley” formation on Mars, taken on the 580th Martian day, or sun, of the mission.

2015: This composite image looks towards the higher regions of Mount Sharp.

2016: The dark band at the bottom of this Martian scene is part of the “Bagnold Dunes” dune field that lines the northwestern edge of Mount Sharp, within Gale Crater.

2016: Butte ‘M9a’ in ‘Murray Buttes’.

2016: This animated image shows two versions of a selfie from the Curiosity Mars rover at a drilled sampling site called “Okoruso.”

2017: This dark mound, called “Ireson Hill,” rises about 16 feet (5 meters) above the redder-layered outcrop material of the Murray Formation at the bottom of Mount Sharp.

2018: This mosaic taken by the rover looks uphill at Mount Sharp, which Curiosity has been climbing. Spanning the center of the image is an area with rocks containing clay that scientists are eager to explore.

2018: Telephoto view from Vera Rubin Ridge on Gale Crater.

2019: 360 degree panoramic of a location called “Teal Ridge”.

2019: The rover took images of these drifting clouds on the 2,405 Martian day, or sun, of the mission, using its black and white navigation cameras.

2020: Joined from 28 images, this view shows part of a geological feature called “Greenheugh Pediment.”

SHARE these distant NASA photos with your planet-loving friends on social media …

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