Is the Curiosity Rover still working?

NASA rover Curiosity: on the Red Planet for 3000 (Mars) days

The NASA rover Curiosity has been exploring Mars for exactly 3000 (Mars) days ("Sol") and the end of the successful mission is not in sight. While its successor, Perseverance, is already approaching the red planet, Curiosity continues to climb the mountain Aeolis Mons in the center of the Gale crater and searches for traces of former life.

The rover has now covered almost 15 miles on its way - only Opportunity got further on Mars. Curiosity was sent to Mars on November 26, 2011 and arrived there on August 5, 2012 after a risky landing approach.

Search for traces of life

As the responsible team of scientists explains, Curiosity has just completed another investigation of the underground. It slipped slightly once, whereupon the rover stopped its activities and waited for new instructions. On its 3,000th day on Mars, the rover will take various measurements, for example, to determine the amount of dust in the atmosphere. In the afternoon he should set off again to reach easier terrain and continue up the mountain slope.

Aeolis Mons is made up of sediments that were piled up during different periods of Martian history. This also includes areas that are made up of clay that was formed ages ago by liquid water and which today point to more life-friendly epochs in the history of Mars. Also because Curiosity has at least found indications that there could have been life on the planet at that time, the mission has long been considered a complete success. Originally it was only intended for two years, but the rover has now been rolling over the red planet for more than eight years and has also become an ambassador for NASA research.

Crowd on Mars

In addition to Curiosity, NASA's Insight probe is currently active on Mars, which has been researching there for 758 days on Mars. In addition, the Odyssey probe has been orbiting the Red Planet for more than 19 years, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter MRO for almost 15 years and Maven for 6 years. Curiosity's successor, Perseverance, is slated to land on Mars in February. In addition to NASA, ESA also operates two Mars probes, Mars Express (for 17 years) and the Trace Gas Orbiter (for four years). The Mars Orbiter Mission of the Indian space agency ISRO has been orbiting Mars for seven years and currently one probe from the United Arab Emirates and one from China are on their way to Mars.


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