Sci-Tech

In pictures: NASA's Curiosity Rover celebrates 3000 days on Mars

1/9

(Subscribe to Science For All, our weekly newsletter, where we aim to take the jargon out of science and put the fun in. Click here.)

NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, has completed 3,000 Martian days, or sols. Launched on November 26, 2011, it landed on Mars on August 6, 2012 and has since made interesting discoveries about the red planet.

Also read: Data from Curiosity rover hints at ancient megaflood in Mars

Curiosity is about the size of a small SUV — 10 feet long, 9 feet wide and 7 feet tall.

It has a suite of instruments:

  • A gas chromatograph, a mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, an X-ray diffraction, fluorescence instrument help study the rocks
  • The Mars Hand Lens Imager (for close-up pictures) and a Mast Camera (to take photos of the surroundings)
  • An instrument named ChemCam to vapourise thin layers of Martian rocks.
  • Radiation Assessment Detector to study the radiation environment at the surface of Mars
  • Rover Environmental Monitoring Station to measure atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, winds, plus ultraviolet radiation levels
  • Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons instrument to measure subsurface hydrogen

The main mission of Curiosity was "to search areas of Mars for past or present conditions favorable for life, and conditions capable of preserving a record of life."

Also read: NASA’s Curiosity rover detects organic matter on Mars

Other Slideshows