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Happy New Year from Mars…

On January 1, the Curiosity Rover celebrated its 500th Martian day (otherwise known as a sol) on the surface of the Red Planet.

Curiosity-Sol-494_3Aa_Ken-KremerA few days earlier, it had taken this wonderful photo of the 18,000ft (5500m) foot Aeolis Mons (more commonly known as Mt. Sharp), created by combining several different images taken by the mastcam on December 26th 2013 (Sol 494).

In celebration of this momentous achievement, the Curiosity Rover posted this Tweet: “500 sols of Mars: While Earth celebrates #NewYear2014, midnight on Mars marks my 500th day of operations.”

You can find & follow the Curiosity Twitter feed here (if such a thing appeals…)

Since its spectacular landing in the Aeolis Palus region of the Gale Crater in early August 2011, Curiosity has driven nearly 3 miles across the floor of this massive 100 mile diameter feature, heading slowly and inexorably towards the centre. An extraordinary achievement, especially if you watch the proposed landing video again and marvel that the third “powered descent” stage and the subsequent “skycrane manoeuvre” actually worked…

I rather like this photo montage of the Curiosity Rover doing it’s lonley thing, all those millions of miles away from home (although, unless a boom has been Photoshopped away, I have no idea how it managed to take such excellent selfies…)

PIA16763_selfie2ndfin

Mars_Science_Laboratory_landing_ellipse_reduced

Curiosity’s landing site was within the blue ellipse…

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  1. Meech
    January 4, 2014 at 01:29

    Fab info as ever Joe! It’s great to get your blogs as I so rarely delve into the things you bring forth. You help to keep me in wonderment :).

    • January 4, 2014 at 10:30

      cheers Meech..
      I’ve been a bit slack recently, but my new years resolution is to get back to 10 a month..
      see you later. Jx

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