For 10 years, NASA Curiosity Rover scoured the Martian landscape for signs of life and learned about Mars’ unique environment. Launched aboard an Atlas V rocket on November 26, 2011, the rover landed on March eight months and 10 days later, on August 5, 2012.
Curiosity’s pioneering landing saw the spacecraft descend on a parachute before its landing system fired its rockets to hover as the rover was lowered to the surface using the sky crane. This landing technique was a resounding success which NASA repeated in February 2021 when the Rover of Perseverance arrived on Mars.
For a decade, Curiosity roamed the red planet, from the Gale crater to Aeolis Mons. If you want to see where the rover is right now, check out Where is the NASA rover feature (opens in a new tab). During its travels, Curiosity unearthed plenty of evidence of past the water and geological change as good as climatic changes. For the latest mission newsfollow Space.com’s Curiosity Mars Rover coverage.
Curiosity has faced myriad challenges during its time on Mars, from computer glitches to drilling malfunctions, orientation issues and extensive damage to its wheels, but the rugged rover keeps bouncing back and continues to investigate the Martian environment to date.
Here we celebrate 10 years of Curiosity by taking a look at some of Curiosity’s best images of Mars.
Related: A Brief History of Martian Missions
NASA’s Curiosity rover took this self-portrait on May 11, 2016 at the “Okoruso” drilling site on the “Naukluft Plateau” in the foothills of Mount Sharp.