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Ancient Mars Lakes & Laser Blasts: Curiosity Rover's 10 Biggest Moments in 1st 5 Years

On the night of Aug. 5, 2012, NASA's most ambitious Mars rover to date pulled off a harrowing sky-crane landing inside the Red Planet's 96-mile-wide (154 kilometers) Gale Crater. Within weeks, the six-wheeled Curiosity rover had found signs of an ancient streambed, further bolstering suspicions that microbes may have been able to survive on Mars in the ancient past. Within months of touching down, the rover had made measurements suggesting that radiation on Mars would not be a showstopper for crewed missions to the Red Planet. And then Curiosity just kept rolling along. The rover has made its way through Gale Crater's plains and into the foothills of the 3.4-mile-high (5.5 km) Mount Sharp, putting more than 10.5 miles (17 km) on its odometer to date. Curiosity continues to gather data that should further flesh out scientists' understanding of ancient Mars and the planet's potential to support life. Here are some of the highlights of Curiosity's journey.

See them all at: Space.com

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