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Curiosity rover nearing 1st anniversary on Mars

Washington, Aug 3 (ANI): NASA’s Curiosity rover will complete a year on Mars next week.

It has already achieved its main science goal of revealing that ancient Mars could have supported life.

The mobile laboratory also is guiding designs for future planetary missions.

“Successes of our Curiosity-that dramatic touchdown a year ago and the science findings since then-advance us toward further exploration, including sending humans to an asteroid and Mars,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, said.

“Wheel tracks now, will lead to boot prints later,” he said.

After inspiring millions of people worldwide with its successful landing in a crater on the Red Planet on Aug. 5, 2012, Curiosity has provided more than 190 gigabits of data; returned more than 36,700 full images and 35,000 thumbnail images; fired more than 75,000 laser shots to investigate the composition of targets; collected and analyzed sample material from two rocks; and driven more than one mile (1.6 kilometers).

Curiosity team members at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California,will share remembrances about the dramatic landing night and the overall mission in an event that will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website from 7:45 to 9 a.m. PDT (10:45 a.m. to noon EDT) on Tuesday, Aug. 6. (ANI)