NASA is responsible for sending the Curiosity Rover to Mars, exactly four years ago today. The Martian rover landed successfully despite several technical problems it had encountered.
In the evening of Aug. 5, 2012, a sky crane that is powered by a rocket engine supported the Curiosity with the help of using its cables, as it safely crash-landed into the Martian surface miles away from the target landing site.
The landing of the Curiosity undergone a multitude of partial simulations before it was sent out to the red planet. This is seen as one of the reasons as to why the technical problems ensued.
But despite the problems, Curiosity was still able to explore the surface of the 96 miles wide Gale Crater.
The very first data that beamed back to Houston were images taken by the Curiosity Rover that proves that there was a lake and streams system present near the crater, a million years ago. The discovery supports the theory that Mars could possibly support microbial life in the past.
The Curiosity mission costs $2.5 billion, to answer the question: “Was there life on Mars?”
Curiosity began the next 5-mile trek to Mount Sharp which has an altitude of 3 miles from the center of Gale Crater.
The Curiosity Rover’s wheels have experienced sufficient damage from its unorthodox touchdown, but with the help of NASA’s command center and the groundbreaking technologies featured in Curiosity’s body, it is able to find ways to refrain from going through rugged and harsh terrains.
According to NASA officials, Curiosity is expected to cover 5.6 more miles before it would break down. As of now, the odometer reading of Curiosity is at 8.43 miles.
The scientific instruments found inside the Curiosity Rover are still working properly. This leads NASA to conclude that it will still obtain a large amount of information in the Martian environment.