NASA’s Curiosity Rover is celebrating an important achievement today: the completion of its first full year on Mars — the equivalent 687 Earth days.
To commemorate the occasion, the totes hip spacecraft did what any modern spacecraft would do: it took a selfie.
The Rover’s first year on Mars revealed important information about whether the Red Planet could ever have supported life, as Rover driver Matt Heverly and deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada explain in this YouTube video.
“We found a lake bed on Mars, and we drilled into it, and found the ingredients and conditions that could have supported microbial life, if life ever was on Mars,” Mr. Vasavada says.
While the Rover was out on a drilling campaign in Mars’s Kimberley region, it took some important time off to take a selfie, Mr. Heverly explains.
“It reached out its robotic arm, just like me with my camera phone, and [took] a series of pictures that it stitched together to take a self-portrait,” he says. “The Rover took a selfie before drilling and after, so you can even see where it drilled a hole on Mars.”
The robot has driven a total of eight kilometers over the course of the past Martian year. Over the next few months, the team will power the Rover toward Mount Sharp, the Rover’s final destination, where they hope to learn more about the history of Mars’s climate.
More selfies when you get there plzzzz.