Ten Years of Curiosity on Mars


Aug 5, 2022

Curiosity’s Dusty Selfie

click for very high resolution version

Today marks 10 years since the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. Since August 2012, Curiosity has been exploring 3-mile-high Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. The rover has climbed more than 2,000 feet (612 meters), reaching progressively younger rocks that serve as a record on how Mars has evolved from a wet, habitable planet to a cold desert environment.

The photogenic rover created this self-portrait at Gale Crater on Sol 2082 (June 15, 2018) using the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI.

See more of Curiosity’s accomplishments and download a commemorative poster.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2022

Editor: Gary Daines

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August 6, 2022 4:52 am

Don’t get it . The MAHLI is mounted on the robotic arm, so how to get a selfie with no arm visible?

Last edited 11 days ago by bonbon
Reply to  bonbon
August 6, 2022 5:35 am

Was kinda wondering the same thing.

Jim Breeding
Reply to  JEHILL
August 6, 2022 8:46 am

It’s a composite picture and they use CGI to remove the arm.

Reply to  bonbon
August 6, 2022 5:39 am

Maybe Curiosity got another tourist to take the picture….


Reply to  JEHILL
August 6, 2022 6:44 am

Maybe Perseverance’s Helicopter flew by?

Flash Chemtrail
August 6, 2022 7:20 am

“…serve as a record on how Mars has evolved from a wet, habitable planet to a cold desert environment.”

Say what?

Ron Long
August 6, 2022 7:43 am

Curosity killed the cat but it didn’t kill Curosity. Some of the images show sedimentary layering, requiring a liquid transport phase (wind transport produces dune texture). What happened? Maybe pronounced weakening of the Mars geomagnetic field, with associated loss of solar ray protection.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 6, 2022 10:12 am

pronounced weakening of geomagnetic field

Care to explain how that happened?
Frederik Nygaard over at universeofparticles.com has an interesting idea;
If gravity is actually electrical charge, then the massive spark that burned that canyon into Mars could have (partially?) equalised charges with another planetary body = loss of gravity.
Added corollary: The same or similar body could have burnt the Grand Canyon, upping our charge, explaining the (sudden?) increase of gravity on earth.
Whether this all happened long ago enough for Martian mountains to show aged layers, now of that I shall not speak with any judgement…

Captain climate
August 6, 2022 8:23 am

Can anyone tell me what this probe has actually accomplished for science? We’ve known Mars once had water on it for decades.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Captain climate
August 6, 2022 12:57 pm

You don’t know what you don’t know. That is the science of discovery.

August 6, 2022 9:10 am

The place looks very under developed.
Pity the Romans weren’t there first –
at least there’d be roads 🙂

August 6, 2022 9:24 am

Is that the reflection of a person wearing a baseball cap on the mast?
Maybe it’s just pareidolia.

August 6, 2022 10:53 am

No tire tracks???

Reply to  Brad
August 6, 2022 12:05 pm

Brad …. If you zoom in to the right side of the picture.. you will see tire tracks

Reply to  Gilbert K. Arnold
August 6, 2022 12:26 pm

The right rear tire has a big hole in it. Talk about run flat tires!
And where is the nearest Rover wash?

Reply to  Yirgach
August 6, 2022 7:13 pm

Where’s the CVS pharmacy on one corner and the Walgreens on the opposite corner?

Reply to  Brad
August 6, 2022 2:35 pm

Click on the picture to get the high resolution and you will see tracks all over the place.

August 6, 2022 11:34 am

I’m more interested in whether there are any resources we could use on Mars.
Water would be good for human exploration but, how about minerals? If Mars is as barren in mineral wealth as it is in water, why bother?
I like gaining knowledge but, I’m more interested if the knowledge has productive capabilities.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 6, 2022 12:35 pm

It appears that the rock was drilled for a sample but even if gold was on the surface, bringing it back to earth would be too expensive.

Last edited 10 days ago by Antigriff
Tom in Florida
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 6, 2022 12:56 pm

The Italians said the same thing to Columbus.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 6, 2022 3:52 pm

Columbus may have been Italian but he was workin’ for Spain. Gold is about $1900/oz now and ask NASA the cost of bringin’ back ounces from the moon – nevermind Mars. The economics is not even close.

Reply to  Antigriff
August 6, 2022 11:19 pm

How about using the minerals there so that we don’t have to bring them up from Earth?
If we can use the resources out there to build outposts, it’ll be easier to explore farther.
I would start at the Moon because its closer and has a smaller gravity well to launch from.

As far as bringing minerals back to earth, mine asteroids and send chunks down the gravity well – well aimed and of sufficient quality and size to justify the cost.
There are already several companies with that goal in mind. Deep Space Industries, Asterank, Asteroid Initiatives, Asteroid Mining Corporation,
Astrum, Aten Engineering, Caterpillar, Airbus, Honda, etc. – there’s a slew of them.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Antigriff
August 7, 2022 10:57 am

He went to Spain for financing because the Italians didn’t think it was a worth while effort. It appears you are in the same category piasan. Your shortsightedness is astounding, again same category as the Italians.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 8, 2022 8:00 am

Columbus faced no problems like space travel. He had O2 and H2O from rain. He did not worry about radiation or bad effects of no gravity. He expected to reach land and food resupply or catch some fish, The ocean was his latrine. The wind was his rocket fuel. Columbus had it easy compared to space travel.

Johne Morton
August 6, 2022 12:30 pm

Kind of reminds me of the Painted Desert in Arizona. Too bad Mars’ mass is too low, and the planet lost plate tectonics and its atmosphere.

Dave Fair
August 6, 2022 2:04 pm

This breathtaking exhibition of Man’s ingenuity and dedication can be contrasted with Leftists’ CliSciFi.

August 7, 2022 3:57 am

There are some indications that there once was a planet between the Earth and Jupiter which exploded leaving Mars behind, a piece hitting earth bringing water but splashing off a piece which became the moon, also a piece hit Venus making it turn the opposite way to other planets (note the book “Dark Matter Missing Planets & New Comets” by Dr Tom Van Flandern). The evidence of water on mars dates to the exploded planet. Mars’ low gravity is not sufficient to hold water vapour. A planet in the area of Mars which was several times the size of Earth could have had a deeper atmosphere than Earth so that the pressure was higher giving higher surface temperature allowing liquid water. (note the temperature at the surface of Venus is due to the pressure of the atmosphere and the energy from the sun renewing the radiation from the surface)

Reply to  ProEng
August 7, 2022 4:59 am

Right on….beam Cap’n Kirk up , Scotty. Take the Enterprise to Warp speed now.

August 8, 2022 8:37 am

A couple cool things to notice in the picture. First, you can see how the wheels are falling apart. This was very unexpected. Turns out that if the wheel happens to be on top of a rock and it is turned, the rock acts as sort of a drill and slowly grinds down that part of the wheel. After enough grinding, a hole appears. This problem was addressed on Perseverance.

Second, the wheel in the middle on the right side of pic has ‘JPL’ in morse code on it. You have to read it right to left (as the rover moves forward the soil gets the imprint left to right). The ‘L’ is the closest in the pic with ‘P’ and ‘J’ following.

Danley Wolfe
August 10, 2022 10:20 am

Interesting .. relevent for climate blog unless one is interested in clmate on Mars. Greens they will tell you this is what our planet will look like soon if we don’t toe the line.

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