Curiosity

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but hopefully it won't kill itself. The Mars Science Laboratory, the car-sized rover that will eventually become the largest one sent to Mars, has just been renamed "Curiosity". Congratulations to 6th grade student Clara Ma for suggesting the winning name!

Clara Ma receives award certificate from mission engineer Suparna Mukherjee
Clara Ma receives award certificate from mission engineer Suparna Mukherjee

The little rover that can

While recent attention for Mars exploration has been focused on the Mars Phoenix Lander, we shouldn't forget that we also have the Mars rovers roaming around the planet. Nearing their fifth year on the planet, the rovers are still operational. In fact, the Opportunity rover has just climbed back out of Victoria Crater that it went in to study nearly a year ago. As it left the crater, it took one last look at the way it came from.

Opportunity looking back

With Phoenix expected to be encased in carbon dioxide ice during the Martian winter, it will probably be outlived by the much older rovers.

The photograph of the tracks Opportunity made as it climbed out of Victoria Crater is courtesy of NASA and JPL-Caltech.