The Curiosity rover has been on Mars for one Martian year. It celebrated by taking a selfie.


NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year — 687 Earth days — spent exploring the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover is celebrating its Marsiversary — one whole Martian year on the Red Planet — by taking a selfie.

Rover stretched out its robotic arm and took a series of pictures of itself, then stitched them together to produce the photo above.

Since the rover first landed on Mars in August 2012, it has been a successful 687 Earth days on the planet for Curiosity, according to NASA.

It met its main goal of finding out whether Mars could ever have been habitable to life when it drilled into a rock near its landing site and discovered that it had once been a lake bed, with mild water.

NASA’s scientists and engineers also released a video explaining what’s next for the rover:

UPDATE: There seems to be a lot of confusion about why Curiosity’s selfie doesn’t include its arm. So to address those burning concerns, which are also addressed in the video above, here’s more of NASA’s explanation:

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used the camera at the end of its arm in April and May 2014 to take dozens of component images combined into this self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called “Windjana.” …

The view does not include the rover’s arm.

How is that possible, you ask? Some of the explanation has to do with the way that Curiosity’s arm isn’t like a human arm (it rotates in only four directions) and also the need to stitch all the images together so that very few seams are visible, according to Planetary.org. You can read Emily Lakdawalla’s full explanation here.

Abby Phillip is a general assignment national reporter for the Washington Post. Before that, she covered politics at ABC News and Politico. She can be reached at abby.phillip@washpost.com. On Twitter: @abbydphillip

 

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