Curiosity Has Been On Mars For Almost A Year. Here’s What It’s Been Doing

A time-lapse video by NASA boils down the first year of Curiosity’s Martian adventure to two minutes.

In time for Curiosity’s one-year anniversary on Mars, which is coming up on August 6, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a 2-minute time-lapse video of images taken from the rover’s front-facing camera. Shot with a fisheye lens on Curiosity’s Hazard-Avoidance Camera, the video shows the rover exploring a brave new world, collecting samples and drilling inside the Red Planet.


For its upcoming one-year anniversary on Aug. 6, we dug into NASA’s archives to highlight some of Curiosity’s milestones to date.

Nov. 26, 2011: Curiosity embarks on the first leg of its journey: traveling 354 million miles to Mars.

Aug. 6, 2012: It finally arrives, touching ground on Bradbury Landing.

Aug. 9, 2012: Curiosity beams back to Earth a colored 360-degree panorama taken of the Gale Crater landing site.

Feb. 9, 2013: Mars is drilled into for the first time. Curiosity collects a sample from a site named John Klein.


Feb 28, 2013: After a memory glitch, Curiosity switches to a redundant onboard computer and enters safe mode.

March 13, 2013: Curiosity wins South by Southwest’s Interactive Award for best social media campaign.

March 18, 2013: Curiosity finds evidence of water-bearing minerals near where it had drilled.

April 25, 2013: Another to add to the resume: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Trophy for Current Achievements is awarded to Curiosity.

May 20, 2013: Curiosity drills into its second spot: Cumberland, collecting a powered sample from the rock interior.


June 5, 2013: The rover wraps up its investigation in the Glenelg area. NASA calls this the “biggest turning point since landing.”

June 19, 2013: NASA stitches together a billion pixels‘ worth of landscape imagery taken from Curiosity.

July 8, 2013: Curiosity heads to its next destination: Mount Sharp.

July 23, 2013: Are we there yet? Curiosity completes its longest drive in a day: 109.7 yards, or 0.06 miles.


Happy anniversary, and keep up the great work. We hope you’re not too homesick, Curiosity.

[All images courtesy of NASA]


About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal