Space Awareness

Curious About Curiosity?

Written by: developer

Following its stunning (and suspenseful) touchdown on Mars on Aug. 6, the Curiosity rover has been sending back never-before-seen images of the red planet. 

Some images are historical (first transmission shown at left; panorama, shown above) and some are just plain silly (below right).

To see the official NASA file, go here.

See the landing in HD here.

And, even sounds the sounds of the landing were captured; click here.

In addition to taking information from Mars, Curiosity is also delivering a message of hope to the red  planet. Inscribed on its sundial (yes, sundial – pictured below left) is the word for Mars in sixteen languages and this message:

For millennia, Mars has stimulated our imaginations. First, we saw Mars as a wandering star, a bringer of war from the abode of the gods. In recent centuries, the planet’s changing appearance in telescopes caused us to think that Mars had a climate like the Earth’s. Our first space age views revealed only a cratered, Moon-like world, but later missions showed that Mars once had abundant liquid water. Through it all, we have wondered: Has there been life on Mars? To those taking the next steps to find out, we wish a safe journey and the joy of discovery.

For more information on the mission, visit NASA’s Mars site or JPL’s Mars Science Laboratory site

Follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is part of Space Watch: September 2012 (Volume: 11, Issue: 9).