On August 5th, 2012, Curiosity landed on Mars in the Gale Crater.

The mission? To discover microbial life. Sporting a set powerful observation tools, Curiosity began roving. What adventures has Curiosity had since then?

illustration of Mars in space
Observations
Curiosity’s observations of the landscape-- for example, the transition from flat sediment to large rock layers-- point to the existence of an oasis within Gale Crater. It’s gone beyond the oasis to take a 1.8 billion pixel panorama of “Glen Torriden,” an area on Mt Sharp. Curiosity has turned its cameras towards the heavens and taken a photo of Earth and Venus in the Martian sky.
Tools
Curiosity uses a number of highly specialized cameras. The MastCam takes images of the landscape to weave together into panoramas. The ChemCam works on taking images to help Earth-side scientists study the chemical makeup of the land on Mars. Curiosity also possesses a Radiation Assessment Detector to help determine radiation levels to prepare for future travel to Mars.
What's next?
Curiosity will soon be joined by a new rover from NASA, Perseverance! It is scheduled to join Curiosity on Mars on February 18, 2021. Perseverance has highly specialized X-ray tools to make chemical analyses.