The Curiosity rover was sent to Mars by NASA in 2012 in order to study the planet’s Gale Crater. The bigger goal was to find out if the crater could have supported life as it exists on Earth. Very few people suspected that Curiosity could go so far as it did. Life wasn’t found on Mars until now, but Curiosity reached an unprecedented milestone.
It’s time to say ‘Happy Birthday!’ to the Curiosity rover that had been roaming the Martian surface for eight wonderful years.
Cost of the mission: $2.5 billion
NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated its 8th anniversary yesterday, on August 5. The rover didn’t find any little green men living on the Red Planet, but it still had enormous contributions for making scientists understand the planet a lot better.
Judging by the data gathered by the Curiosity rover, scientists were able to conclude that the Gale crater from Mars hosted a potentially habitable lake-and-stream system. The rover also found some complex organic chemicals on Mars.
When will humans finally go to Mars
Space agencies are continuing to explore the Red Planet in order to find out all the possible dangers that astronauts could be facing there. NASA plans to send humans to the Moon after more than half a century, along with the Artemis program. If everything goes according to the plan, the next destination is Mars. Scientists hope to begin the terraforming of Mars in the future, but we are naive to think that we’ll be able to move our luggage on the Red Planet in less than a hundred years. But for a short visit to Mars, that wouldn’t be a problem with the current technology.
If the distance between Earth and the Moon is ‘only’ 384,000 kilometers, we’ll have to travel much more if we want to arrive to our neighboring planet. The shortest distance between our planet and Mars is 54.6 million kilometers.