NASA’s Curiosity Has Been Roaming Around Mars For Over 7 Years And Here Are 30 Of Its Best Photos

We probably all grew up believing that Earth is the only habitable planet in the solar system. However, with the inevitable effects of global warming at bay, we can’t help but wonder if life’s possible outside Earth. And Mars has always been a potential candidate. Thanks to robotically operated rovers like Curiosity, us earthlings don’t have to wonder what’s life like on Mars anymore.

So far, we’ve had four successful Mars rovers in the past 23 years or so. These are Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit, and Curiosity. Sadly, NASA had recently lost contact with Opportunity. This left the organization with no option but to finally declare its mission complete on February 13, 2019. That said, Curiosity remains to be the only functional rover on the red planet.

 

Here’s how Curiosity looks like now after over seven years in Mars

Curiosity-2012-vs-2019-Self-portrait

NASA

 

Wheel Scuff Mark at ‘Rocknest’

 

Vista from Curiosity Shows Crossbedded Martian Sandstone

 

View From Mars Orbiter Showing Curiosity Rover at ‘Shaler’

 

Sunset Sequence in Mars’ Gale Crater

 

Strata at Base of Mount Sharp

 

Rocky Surroundings of Mount Sharp Captured by Curiosity

 

Resistant Features in ‘Pahrump Hills’ Outcrop

 

Remnants of Ancient Streambed on Mars (White-Balanced View)

 

Outcrop within The Murray Buttes Region

 

View Toward ‘Vera Rubin Ridge’ on Mount Sharp, Mars

The spacecraft is nearing its eighth anniversary on Mars after landing on August 6, 2012. Technically, its original mission duration was only 687 days. Who would have thought that rover would still be thriving till the present day? Apparently, the rover stays true to its name as it continues to explore and examine the unknown land unceasingly.

 

Mudstone Rock Outcrop at the Base of Mount Sharp

 

Mount Sharp Comes In Sharply

 

Curiosity Rover Finds and Examines a Meteorite on Mars

 

Two Sizes of Ripples on Surface of Martian Sand Dune

 

Martian Rock ‘Harrison’ in Color, Showing Crystals

 

Looking Up at Mars Rover Curiosity in ‘Buckskin’ Selfie

 

Layers at the Base of Mount Sharp

 

Target: Jake Matijevic Rock

 

Getting to Know Mount Sharp

 

Fracture Town

Unfortunately, Curiosity has to carry on on its own for now. But don’t worry, NASA has already planned to start a 2020 Mars rover mission by July 17 to August 5. The space agency has also held a student naming contest last fall. And the nine finalists were Endurance, Tenacity, Promise, Perseverance, Vision, Clarity, Ingenuity, Fortitude, and Courage. Keep your eyes peeled for NASA’s announcement of the new rover’s name in early March!

 

Focusing the 100-millimeter Mastcam

 

First Sampling Hole in Mount Sharp

 

Curiosity’s Dusty Selfie at Duluth

 

Curiosity’s Color View of Martian Dune After Crossing It

 

Curiosity Tracks in ‘Hidden Valley’ on Mars

 

Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Windjana’ Drilling Site

 

Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune

 

Curiosity Rover’s View of Alluring Martian Geology Ahead

 

Bone Up on Mars Rock Shapes

 

Active Sand Dune Named ‘Gobabeb’

Source: NASA Science Mars Exploration Program | Curiosity Rover