NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Still Has Power 10 Years After Landing
A jetpack lowered NASA’s Curiosity rover onto Mars ten years ago today.
Curiosity has travelled nearly 18 miles (29 kilometres) and climbed 2,050 feet since then (625 meters).
Using a suite of science instruments, the rover analysed 41 rock and soil samples.
The mission of Curiosity was recently extended for another three years.
It's been a busy decade on Mars.
After ten years, 18 miles (29 km), and 500,000 photos, @MarsCuriosity is still rolling strong in its quest for signs of ancient life. As Curiosity moves forward, take a look back with us at what it's accomplished: https://t.co/zX6MeG2QPt pic.twitter.com/26CadYeGRk
— NASA (@NASA) August 6, 2022
Curiosity took a “postcard” image of distant buttes with a Curiosity-sized boulder in the background in 2015.
A speck within that image is a boulder known as “Ilha Novo Destino,” and Curiosity passed it just last month.
The team intends to spend the next several years investigating this area, which could have been flooded during a flood.
Engineers on NASA’s Curiosity Rover team use careful planning and engineering hacks to manage the rover’s limited power and braking mechanisms.
Curiosity is powered by a long-lasting nuclear-powered battery rather than solar panels.
The team is budgeting how much energy the rover uses each day and determining which activities can be done in parallel to maximise the available energy.