Official NASA Curiosity iron-on patch.
3.5" x 4"
Image credit: NASA
CURIOSITYCuriosity is a car-sized rover designed to explore Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA 's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL). Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26th, 2011, at 15:02 UTC and landed on Aeolis Palus inside Gale on Mars on August 6th, 2012, 05:17 UTC. The Bradbury Landing site was less than 2.4 km (1.5 mi) from the center of the rover's touchdown target after a 560 million km (350 million mi) journey. The rover's goals include an investigation of the Martian climate and geology; assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life, including investigation of the role of water ; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for human exploration.
In December 2012, Curiosity's two-year mission was extended indefinitely, and on August 5th, 2017, NASA celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing. The rover is still operational, and as of August 28, 2020, Curiosity has been on the planet Mars for 2866 sols (2944 total days ) since landing on August 6th, 2012. (See current status .) The NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory / Curiosity Project Team was awarded the 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association "In recognition of the extraordinary achievements of successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation's technological and engineering capabilities, and significantly improving humanity's understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments."
Curiosity's rover design served as the basis for NASA's 2021 Perseverance mission.