With all the news of the past year in the Astronomy world, Rosetta on 67P, Dawn on Ceres, New Horizons on Pluto, our old friend the Curiosity rover hasn’t had time to watch the news. Curiosity has been working hard, ‘rocking out’ (pun intended) on the red planet. Tomorrow, August 6th, marks its third anniversary since touching down on Mars and beginning science operations that would forever change our understanding of our next-door neighbor. To mark the occasion, the Mars Science Laboratory team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released an anniversary video. For its third anniversary, Curiosity has found a rock dubbed ‘Buckskin’, one that is very different from others seen on Mars up to this point. This morning the rover used it’s drill to take a sample from the rock, and soon its analysis suite of instruments will study the material and see what secrets this new rock is hiding.
As it slowly makes its way up to mount Sharp, the rover will continue to take rock samples at different rock layers to slowly piece together the geological history of Mars and give us new insights to the history, and habitability, of Mars.