It’s been one year since NASA’s Curiosity rover has been on Mars. Since then, many things have been discovered about the red planet thanks to the images the rover has sent back.
A part of Curiosity was built right here in southeast Idaho at the Idaho National Laboratory…we spoke to them about many of the accomplishments they’ve seen during this last year.
August 5th 2012 was when curiosity touched down on Mars.
“It actually made me just tear up and get shivers; may sound corny but it’s one of those just neat accomplishments” said Carla Dwight, Deputy Division Director for Space Nuclear Systems and Technology Division at INL.
Since then the rover has captured over 71,000 images and analyzed sample material from two rocks.
“It’s just amazing the amount of data that’s coming in, the photos, and I don’t pretend at all to be a scientist that’s studying all that, but it’s so exciting to just be part of the project” continued Dwight.
Scientists and engineers at the INL helped put together the power system that makes Curiosity function.
“I got a hold of the project manager at Jet Propulsion Lab this morning and just sent a quick note and said ‘hey, how’s the power system functioning and working?’ And he replied, ‘it’s doing fantastic, just as it’s expected and things are going well,’ so it’s neat that we have the connections with the folks that were involved in that” said Dwight.
Curiosity has driven just over a mile in the time it’s been on mars.
The rover is making its way to the base of Mount Sharp where it’ll investigate lower layers of a mountain that rises 3 miles from the floor of a crater.
Curiosity has about another year to go in its scheduled mission.