by Cat Ellen, contributing writer

Two Years and Going Strong

Happy 2 Years, Curiosity! (photo credit: NASA JPL)

Happy 2 Years, Curiosity! (photo credit: NASA JPL)

Two years ago this week, on Aug. 5, 2012, thousands of scientists, enthusiasts, and fans celebrated the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Looking back over the accomplishments of the Curiosity rover gives cause for further celebration. Exploration yielded evidence of an ancient lakebed and all the elements considered supporting the possibility of microbial life in that environment, billions of years ago. “Before landing, we expected that we would need to drive much farther before answering that habitability question,” said Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. “We were able to take advantage of landing very close to an ancient streambed and lake. Now we want to learn more about how environmental conditions on Mars evolved, and we know where to go to do that.”

Where Were You When Curiosity Landed on Mars?

Whether you took part in any of the live viewing parties or found yourself glued to your computer two years ago, or you missed the live events as they unfolded, you can still re-live this historic success with this compiled video from JPL. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zervvVw2dnU&w=560&h=315]

Fresh tracks in Hidden Valley help reveal this fun fact: The tire tracks on Curiosity leave a repeating pattern that can be used for visual reference to measure distance. Of course, the pattern spells out JPL in Morse code. (photo credit: JPL NASA)

Fresh tracks in Hidden Valley help reveal this fun fact: The tire tracks on Curiosity leave a repeating pattern that can be used for visual reference to measure distance. Of course, the pattern spells out JPL in Morse code. (photo credit: JPL NASA)

“‘Dare Mighty Things’ is actually a motto for the [JPL] laboratory. We want to be known for doing the things that nobody else can, pushing the edge,” Project Manager Jim Erickson said.

Happy two years on Mars from the team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). May you always dare mighty things! #2YearsOnMars

Happy two years on Mars from the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). May you always dare mighty things! #2YearsOnMars

Want More?

  • Mars Exploration Program
  • Twitter: @MarsRovers, Spirit and Oppy
  • Twitter: @MarsCuriosity
  • Facebook: NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover
  • Twitter: @NASAJPL
Cat Ellen
Cat Ellen

Cat Ellen is a technical writer by trade, an occasional copy editor
and beta reader, and has a passion for teaching ATS bellydance and
numerous textile arts, notably drop spindle and card weaving.