back to article One amazing reason why NASA boffins are celebrating Curiosity's 687th day on Mars

As Curiosity trundles across the plains of Mars, its controllers at NASA are preparing to hold a bit of a party – as on June 24 the rover celebrates its first full Martian year (687 Earth days) on the Red Planet. Curiosity looking good on first Martian birthday Curiosity is looking good on its first Martian birthday The …


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  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    A very lonely birthday party

    Maybe Curiosity can make a wish for mankind to one day join it on the surface of Mars.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: A very lonely birthday party

      One can wish but I suspect that those joining it will be from another nation than the one who launched it. A very sad state of affairs when it comes to NASA funding.

      1. Robert Helpmann??

        Re: A very lonely birthday party

        Maybe Curiosity can make a wish...

        Alas, though a pre-cooked cake was included as part of Curiosity's personal weight allowance, it couldn't get the candles to light.

        1. AdamT

          Re: A very lonely birthday party

          unless, of course, the cake was a lie...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: A very lonely birthday party

            Maybe Elon could send it a cheese?

            Big candle icon ----------->

  2. cookieMonster

    need another space race...

    To be honest, I hope another nation gets there first, because I think thats the ONLY thing that will kick the US space program back into gear... sputnik and all that...

    1. Beachrider

      This could get the ESA rolling...

      You guys just need to get the ESA rolling. They have a LOT of tech, but need to start MUCH more tech to get there!

    2. Uffish

      Re: need another space race...

      In one year Curiosity has provided conclusive proof that the conditions for life existed on Mars (a long time ago), and given some evidence that even if life got started there it didn't flourish. Right - what do we do next? The prize for the space race doesn't seem to exist. The science is there but the glory is not - cue in-fighting for budgets and slow progress for anyone who tries it.

      All the more reason to praise Nasa and the USA for doing as much as they have.

  3. Wayland Sothcott 1


    What's more plausible? That NASA spent all this money for this crap or they did it on the cheap in a studio like Capricorn One?

    The best bit about this whole mission was the landing but Curiosity never even attempted to make a selfie.

    What a load of bollox.

    1. Shrimpling

      Re: selfie

      Curiosity has taken loads of selfies...

      The headline on the Time magazine website for this story is "NASA’s Curiosity Rover Takes Selfie to Mark First Year on Mars"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Incredible

      Obvious, troll is obvious.

    3. NumptyScrub

      Re: Incredible

      quote: "What's more plausible? That NASA spent all this money for this crap or they did it on the cheap in a studio like Capricorn One?"

      What is more plausible, that fire turning wood to ash is due to some invisible gas combining with the wood after somehow flowing through the flame, or simply that wood contains the element of fire and that burning is the release of this element, leaving the earth element (ash) behind?

      Occam's razor is a fine tool, but there are some truths that it has difficulty cutting :)

    4. Acme Fixer

      Re: Incredible

      I don't believe the word selfie was in common usage when it landed. But it did take a picture of itself with the robotic arm when it landed, pieced together from several individual photos. You must be named Thomas.

      Doubting Thomas. And obviously not a 'boffin.'

      The 'other country' that may make it to Mars should first do as we in the U.S. did, put a man on the moon. Once the future generation of boffins understands the extreme challenges of space travel only 240k miles away, then they can proceed to a much more distant planet.

  4. mix
    Thumb Up

    I guess if it was a lonely, human rover it would be losing its mind right about now.

  5. Martin Budden

    The sharp, embedded rocks were a bad surprise.

    Rocky planet is rocky.

  6. DarkwavePunk

    Amazing. It's lasted longer than a pub in Findern, Derby. Probably better service too.

  7. Mage

    BBC R4

    Was it Saturday last BBC R4 had an interesting version of the Martian Chronicles?

    Mars also features (briefly) in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I think the R4 2 part version last two weeks better than Blade Runner. Though of course without the famous speech (not in book anyway).

    Then there is Ben Bova "Mars" and "Return to Mars". Even the author of Biggles has a couple of Mars novels. I think also John Wyndham. Though a Barren Sterile place (apparently) it still somehow captures the imagination. Even if we don't send people (which seems possible but problematic, a one way trip for some Scientists in their 60s?) we should keep sending rovers.

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: BBC R4

      There's also Kim Stanley Robinson's excellent trilogy Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars. While being an entertaining sci-fi read, it's also almost a study on the scientific, political and sociological implications of the colonisation of another planet.

      Highly recommended for Marsophiles (shut up, it's a perfectly cromulent word...)

      1. Maty

        Re: BBC R4

        Um .. an Areophile perhaps? If we're using a Greek suffix we might as well be consistent. Like 'selene-' for moon and helio- for sun.

        And an honorable mention for Total Recall (the original version and book NOT the ghastly re-make.)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: BBC R4

      "Even the author of Biggles has a couple of Mars novels."

      Capt. W. E. Johns. That's what got me into SF as a kid! I found them in the school library.

      Those, and the ones starring a team of British astronauts who over a series of books explored pretty much the whole solar system, launching out of Woomera :-)

      So long ago I can't remember any of the titles now, nor even the author of the latter series.

  8. Richard Taylor 2


    Stunning achievement - as were the original vehicles. No doubt someone in Congress will screw them....

  9. Hollerith 1

    Call me a science fangrrl if you will

    But the fact that we can drive little vehicles all over another planet and see its horizons and know its chemistry is F*CKING awe-inspiring. The science is great, the technology is great, and humans are the most amazing monkeys ever.

    1. The last doughnut

      Re: Call me a science fangrrl if you will

      humans are the most amazing monkeys _yet_

      Corrected that for you

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Call me a science fangrrl if you will

        Only because dolphins don't have opposable thumbs

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Call me a science fangrrl if you will

      "humans are the most amazing monkeys"

      Apes NOT monkeys.


    3. RISC OS

      Re: Call me a science fangrrl if you will

      Except maybe George W Bush

      1. Acme Fixer

        Re: Call me a science fangrrl if you will

        Now you did it! You made me spit coffee all over my keyboard!!


  10. TheColinous

    Martians: Yankee go home!

    The yanks need to rename their letter agencies post-haste. Or I better start to read more properly. I think we can all agree to blame the yanks.

    I zoomed into this post wondering what on Earth NSA had to do with Curiosity. Then I thought about the poor martians.

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