NASA to Celebrate Curiosity Anniversary With Aug. 6 Webcast
The U. S. Curiosity rover will mark a triumphant first anniversary on the surface of Mars on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
The anniversary activities will include a live NASA Webcast featuring top agency officials as well as astronauts aboard the International Space Station who will discuss Curiosity’s impressive achievements as well as future plans to send the first human expedition to Mars in the 2030s.
The compact car sized rover, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, touched down in Gale Crater on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, following an eight month journey from the Earth. The spectacular landing was accomplished with a new “sky crane” that hovered over the landing site to gently lower the rover to the Martian terrain with tethers.
During the first year of Curiosity’s $2.5 million two year mission, the robotic geologist accomplished the mission’s primary goal, establishing that Mars once had an environment suitable for microbial life.
The rover is currently on its way to the base ofMountSharp, a rise that juts up more than three miles from the floor of the 95 mile wide Gale crater. Scientists are hopeful that Curiosity can provide estimates of the time period Mars was habitable as it makes its way toward the summit ofMountSharp, studying the layered soil and rock deposits.
The anniversary program will be streamed live at www.nasa.gov/ntv on Aug. 6 from noon to 1:30 p.m., EDT, USA.
Program participants include:
Charles Bolden, NASA administrator
Chris Cassidy and Karen Nyberg, NASA astronauts, living aboard the International Space Station
Jim Green, director, Planetary Division, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
Sam Scimemi, director, NASA’s International Space Station Program
Prasun Desai, acting director, Strategic Integration, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate