By Mike Deliman
It seems like just yesterday that a delicately orchestrated seven-minute long ballet of gravity, terror, rockets, and sky crane deposited Curiosity Rover on the Red Planet. In fact, just three years ago, we all were able to watch JPL’s Mission Control office over the World Wide Web as confirmation arrived that Curiosity landed in good health.
And what has been done since the landing? Just a few of the many achievements:
Over 257 thousand images (unprocessed) available to the public, dozens of videos (some made from sequences of images), over 100 3-D images, countless experiments, samples processed, gigabytes of data and results returned. The Top Six discoveries are among the most exciting bits of scientific news over the past few years, especially that there once was enough water on Mars to make oceans, and enough atmosphere to keep them from freezing; that Mars was once a home suitable for life.
Curiosity is now scaling Mt. Sharp looking for more interesting finds, over 1067 days after landing. Her primary mission was a success, and we’re all looking forward to hearing about results from the extended mission.
Wind River is proud to have played a part in empowering so many successful missions like Curiosity. The VxWorks operating system has enabled dozens of space probes and telescopes, helping scientists change and increase our understanding of our solar system.
Happy Anniversary Curiosity!