For 10 years, NASA’s Curiosity rover has traversed the Martian landscape looking for signs of life and learning about Mars’ unique environment. Launched aboard an Atlas V rocket on November 26, 2011, the rover landed on Mars eight months and 10 days later on August 8. 5, 2012.
Curiosity’s innovative landing resulted in the spacecraft parachuting down before its landing system fired its rockets to hover as the rover descended to the surface with a skycrane. This landing technique was a resounding success, which NASA repeated in February 2021 when the Perseverance rover arrived on Mars.
For ten years, Curiosity traveled the Red Planet, from Gale Crater to Mount Aeolis. If you want to know where the rover is right now, check out NASA’s where the rover is located feature. (will open in a new tab). During its travels, Curiosity unearthed extensive evidence of past water, geological and climate changes. For the latest news on the mission, follow the Curiosity Mars Rover coverage from Space.com.
Curiosity has experienced many problems during its time on Mars, from computer glitches to rig failures, orientation problems and significant damage to its wheels, but the reliable rover continues to recover and continues to explore the Martian environment to this day.
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 Missions to Mars
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.