World News

NASA’s Mars Rover Celebrates Its 5th Birthday on the Red Planet

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NASA writes that on August 5th at 10:32 p.m. PDT (Aug. 6 EDT), the Mars rover named Curiosity successfully landed on the red planet after a tumultuous entry. Every time Curiosity speaks to NASA, it takes 14 minutes for its messages to get back to Earth, which is about 154 million miles away. This amazing robot has sent selfies and landscape photos of mysterious Mars, and it lead to the discovery of “fresh water, other key chemical ingredients and an energy source” that lets scientists know that Mars had the right conditions to foster life at one point.

Curiosity also has the ability to “sing” to itself, which it does every year for its birthday/anniversary. Despite all of the rover’s accomplishments over the past five years, hearing Curiosity sing all alone, not even near another rover, can evoke melancholy feelings.

“Why does this make me feel so sad?” IHerobrine23 asks in the comments section of Newsy’s video about the rover’s fifth birthday. “I started crying. I’ll make a card for you next year, Curiosity,” NoodleDoodles added. NASA probably didn’t expect that giving Curiosity a uniquely human attribute would the break hearts of Americans who just want the rover to have an actual “happy” birthday!