Celebrating its first Martian year on the Red Planet Curiosity sends a long distance self portrait showing all is well
Being further out in the solar system our rocky neighbour Mars has a year lasting 687 earth days, originally landing on Mars on August 6th 2012 NASA’s Curiosity Rover hit its first Martian year on 24th June.
To honour the event NASA’s Martian exploration probe has sent a Selfie back to Earth which you can see below.
Curiosity’s self portrait is a composite image made up from dozens of shots taken over April and May 2014 using the Mars Hand Lens Imager camera positioned on the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm. NASA’s rover sent the selfie from the Windjama site where it’s been collecting sandstone samples throughout the spring.
NASA triumphantly report that Curiosity’s findings so far have succeeded in "determining whether Mars once offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life".According to NASA’s website;
"One of Curiosity's first major findings after landing on the Red Planet in August 2012 was an ancient riverbed at its landing site. Nearby, at an area known as Yellowknife Bay, the mission met its main goal of determining whether the Martian Gale Crater ever was habitable for simple life forms. The answer, a historic "yes," came from two mudstone slabs that the rover sampled with its drill. Analysis of these samples revealed the site was once a lakebed with mild water, the essential elemental ingredients for life, and a type of chemical energy source used by some microbes on Earth. If Mars had living organisms, this would have been a good home for them.”
After Curiosity has finished up in Windjama it will be heading towards an area named Mount Sharp, its final destination, where it will be searching for more signs the Red Planet could once have supported life.