Being alone on a cold alien landscape may seem like a sad way to pass six years, but for the Mars Curiosity rover, it’s been a brilliant stretch.
Sunday, Aug. 5 marked the sixth anniversary of Curiosity’s historic touchdown on the surface of Mars and the rover celebrated the way we all do: with a post on social media.
One way it did not celebrate its anniversary, though, was with a song, contrary to what you might read on what you might read online. Yes, even if they’re good, sometimes the memes are wrong.
It’s true that Curiosity did sing “Happy Birthday” to itself at one time, but that was in 2013 after the rover’s first anniversary on the Red Planet. Curiosity itself pointed this out in 2017 and The Atlantic got to the bottom of why it only happened once: because it doesn’t do anything for science.
That’s not to dismiss the feat of landing Curiosity and all of its amazing research. Over the past six (lonely) years, what Curiosity has uncovered has been mind-blowing, right down to the amazing selfie the rover took during a recent dust storm.
Here’s one of the most recent photos delivered by Curiosity’s navigation cameras on Saturday, August 4, 2018.
So, here’s to you, Curiosity. It may be a quiet, lonely birthday, but don’t worry because you’ll soon have more company.