By Webteam - 6th August 2018 6:01am
On August 6th 2012 NASA's Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars.
Curiosity is a car-sized rover designed to explore Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.
Launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26th 2011 aboard the MSL spacecraft, it landed on Aeolis Palus in the Gale Crater. The landing spot was less than 1.5 miles from the centre of the rover's touchdown target after a 354 million mile journey. Slightly less than the distance to Buerton..
The rover's goals include an investigation of the Martian climate and geology; assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale Crater has ever offered environmental conditions favourable for microbial life, including investigation of the role of water; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for human exploration.
In December 2012, Curiosity's two-year mission was extended indefinitely. On August 5, 2017, NASA celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing and related exploratory accomplishments on the planet Mars. The rover is still operational today, and as of August 6, 2018, Curiosity has been on Mars for 2131 sols (2190 Earth days).
The design for Curiosity will serve as the basis for the planned Mars 2020 rover.
Curiosity took 263 days to travel the 354 million miles to Mars, at an average speed of 56,000mph. If a car could average a speed of 100mph how long would it take to get there?
It would never get there — cars cannot fly, never mind break Earth's orbit. Well, perhaps a Tesla...
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