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NASA's Mars rover still curious after 2 years

Curiosity rover completes its second full year on the red planet.

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NASA's Curiosity Mars rover leaves tracks in the sandy floor of "Hidden Valley" on Aug. 4, as it makes its way toward Mount Sharp. Monday was Curiosity's 709th Martian day.

NASA celebrated Curiosity's second year on Mars on Aug. 5.

(JPL/NASA photo)

John Grant is a geologist for Earth and planetary studies at NASA. He joined Tom and Emily on the Federal Drive to discuss his work with Curiosity.

 

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Curiosity casts a shadow as it approaches its main target -- Mount Sharp, whose peak is 5.5 kilometers/3.4 miles high. Curiosity's drivers plan to check out the lower layers of the mountain, which is taller than California's Mount Whitney. Scientists hope to find evidence of environmental change.

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

John Grant is a geologist at NASA.

Listen to the full interview here.

 

Download MP3

This map shows Curiosity's progress through its 709th day. From 706 through 709, for example, the rover traveled a straight-line distance of approximately 52.88 feet.

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)
Curiosity snapped the component images for this photo of an iron meteorite on May 25, 2014. This meteorite, nicknamed "Lebanon," is similar to iron meteorites found by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. Lebanon is about 2 yards or 2 meters wide.

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/-CNRS/IAS/MSSS)
In April and May, Curiosity snapped dozens of photos to make this composite self-portrait at "Windjana," a sandstone target where the rover conducted some drilling.

(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
This photo from May shows two holes, upper center, drilled by Curiosity in the Windjana sandstone.

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

John Grant is a geologist for NASA.

Listen to the full interview here.

 

Download MP3

On April 29, Curiosity conducted a shallow drilling test of the Windjana sandstone.

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )
Curiosity's Navigation Camera snapped this photo of the Windjana sandstone on April 23.

(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
The rows of rocks just to the right of the fresh wheel tracks in this view are an outcrop called "Junda." The rows form striations on the ground, a characteristic seen in some images of this area taken from orbit.

(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
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