NASA’s Curiosity Has Been On Mars For More Than 7 Years And Here Are Its 30 Best Photos
For us, mere mortals, Mars is a no man's land where survival seems like a distant dream. After all, no man has ever walked on its surface (as far as we know) and plans to send one to the red planet are only in the early stages of its development. However, humans have touched Mars through the durable wheels of Mars rovers. We've had 4 successful robotically operated Mars rovers (all of which were managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA) so far: Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit, and Curiosity.
As Opportunity's mission was declared complete on February 13, 2019 when NASA lost all contact with the vehicle, Curiosity became the lone survivor on the red planet, rolling over its surface to examine and explore the unknown land all by itself. The spacecraft first landed on Mars on August 6, 2012 and started carrying out its objectives throughout the years. In fact, Curiosity did its job so well and held on for so long that its original mission duration of 687 days was expanded indefinitely.
Here's how Curiosity looked 7 years ago and now
Curiosity is approaching its 8 year anniversary on Mars and while it is currently the only functional rover on the planet (after we all, unfortunately, had to say goodbye to Oppy), NASA has plans to send it some company in the shape of Mars 2020 rover. The 2020 mission is scheduled to start on 17 July to 5 August 2020 when the rocket carrying the rover will be launched. NASA also announced a student naming contest for the rover that was held in the fall of 2019. The final name will be announced in early March 2020, so we definitely have something to look forward to!