It has been 678 Earth days since NASA's Mars Curiosity landed to look for signs the planet could or once did support living organisms, just in case, you know, out of curiosity and all. That means it turns one Mars year old today, so HBD, Curiosity!
To celebrate, let's review a few of its discoveries over the past Mars year:
—One of Curiosity's first major findings after landing on the Red Planet in August 2012 was an ancient riverbed at its landing site. Nearby, at an area known as Yellowknife Bay, the mission met its main goal of determining whether the Martian Gale Crater ever was habitable for simple life forms. The answer, a historic "yes," came from two mudstone slabs that the rover sampled with its drill. Analysis of these samples revealed the site was once a lakebed with mild water, the essential elemental ingredients for life, and a type of chemical energy source used by some microbes on Earth.
Other important findings during the first Martian year include assessing natural radiation levels both during the flight to Mars and on the Martian surface provides guidance for designing the protection needed for human missions to Mars.
It also got its tires banged up and figured out how to take a really fancy selfie:
Click past the jump for the NASA's video update, too.