Curiosity celebrates ten years on Mars

Curiosity cruises the surface of Mars in search of signs of life.


This August 6 marks the 10th anniversary of the arrival on Mars of the robotic vehicle ‘ Curiosity ‘, with the mission of testing past environments conducive to life on the surface of the red planet.

‘ Curiosity ‘ took off aboard an Atlas 5 rocket on November 26, 2011 and traveled through space for nine months, traveling 482 million kilometers.

The rover’s successful arrival was a technological milestone, condensed into a dizzying seven-minute descent from orbit, slowing down with a combination of parachutes, retrorockets and tether-assisted landing.

A decade of science

The initial goal was for the rover to work for two years on a geological expedition to Mount Sharp, a sedimentary rise in the middle of Gale Crater, located just south of the Martian equator. After touring the crater, Curiosity is currently exploring the side of the mount with its cameras and sample collection and chemical analysis instruments.

This scenario was chosen because of the age of the crater, between 3.5 and 3.8 billion years, the same period in which the Earth and the rest of the planets in the Solar System were frequently bombarded by meteorites. It is also the time when Mars was able to host an atmosphere capable of raising the temperature and allowing the presence of liquid water on the surface.

Famous for its ‘selfies’, the work of this vehicle -which has traveled more than 28.5 kilometers- has revealed that Mars had an atmosphere in its youth, more detailed data on radiation on the planet is available -for future manned missions – has found evidence of the existence of liquid water in the past and variable emissions of methane and organic compounds. However, it has found no evidence of life on the Red Planet. (EuropePress)