Nasa’s Curiosity rover is celebrating a whopping 3000 days on Mars! That is eight years on the surface of the Red Planet. So what’s it been up to in that time? Let’s take a look…
The Mars rover took the above selfie at a location called “Mary Anning” (who was a 19th century English paleontologist) while out there collecting samples of drilled rock. Scientists want to study these samples to look for organic (or carbon-based) molecules – signs of ancient life.
Did you know that the Curiosity rover occasionally stops work to sit and stargaze? Back in June last year, it even caught a glimpse of Earth and Venus while doing so!
In 2020, the Curiosity rover took itself on a summer road trip and travelled 1.6 kilometres to Mount Sharp, an extremely tall Martian mountain. It was a working holiday though! Once there, Curiosity again had to search for conditions that may have supported ancient microbial life.
Curiosity sometimes studies clouds to learn more about the atmosphere on Mars. On May 17, 2019 (day 2,410 of its mission), Curiosity spotted some water-ice clouds despite the fact there is little water in Martian air.
What’s next for the Curiosity rover? Well, it’s about to get a friend. NASA’s Perseverance rover will touch down on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021.
Are you interested in an exciting space career? Jobs in the space science sector may seem out of reach but they’re really not! There are stacks of cool space jobs that need STEM skills, especially in areas like software development, industrial design and metal fabricating.
You could also be an astronomer, aerospace engineer, physicist, technical writer, astronaut, robotics engineer, astrobiologist, space flight controller, satellite engineer or space lawyer.
Be inspired by these STEM pros with out of this world space careers:
- Christyl Johnson, Deputy Center Director for Technology and Research Investments at NASA
- Emily Calandrelli, science communicator (@thespacegal)and host of Netflix’s Emily’s Wonder Lab
- Kirsten Banks, astrophysicist and science communicator
- Professor Tara Murphy, astrophysicist
- Rhea Barnett, space physicist
- Dr Sarah Pearce, Director of Astronomy and Space Science, CSIRO
- Nima Sherpa, space mining expert
- Monique Hollick, space systems engineer
- Marielle Pellegrino, aerospace engineer
- Karen Willcox, aerospace engineer
Skills that are super handy for space careers include mathematics, critical thinking, motivation and determination.
If you can’t decide what area of space you’d like to work in, we’ve got you covered with our fun What’s Your Perfect Space Career? quiz!
Author: Louise Meers
Louise is the acting digital editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals.