NASA’s famous Curiosity Mars rover has achieved a major milestone and completed 2,000 days, aka sols, on the red planet.
The robotic car-sized rover landed on the Martian landscape in August 2012 and has been devoted toward making critical finds for the space agency ever since. It has driven nearly 12 miles inside the Gale crater, diving into the history of the planet and understanding how it evolved over several billion years.
Throughout its journey from the landing site to the current location on Mount Sharp of the crater, Curiosity made a number of discoveries. However, the biggest find continues to be the discovery of a riverbed that first indicated that liquid water flowed on the surface of the planet. It even found that the crater’s floor once had a freshwater lake probably with chemical ingredients required to support microbial life.
The rover has examined around 600 vertical feet of rock with signs of ancient water and wind activity until now, something that has led NASA to posit Mars might have had habitable conditions for a few million years. But, in order to confirm this theory, the agency needs more evidence which it expects to collect when Curiosity moves ahead and explores an area believed to carry clay minerals.