The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla and Space.com contributor Rod Pyle look back at the first two years of the Curiosity Rover’s mission on Mars, and look ahead to the future of Mars exploration. Pyle is the author of the newly published book “Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen.” Lakdawalla is working on a book tentatively titled “Curiosity on Mars: Design, Planning and the First Mars Year of Operations,” due to be published in 2015. NBC News science editor Alan Boyle is the host for the show, which marks the second anniversary (in Earth years) of Curiosity’s Mars landing.
Curiosity self-portrait, looking at Windjana, sol 613 (official version)
Curiosity took a self-portrait with her MAHLI camera as she gazed upon the Windjana drill site on sol 613 (April 27, 2014). She would drill at Windjana on sol 621. On sol 627 (May 5), she took another few photos of the drill site and the cascades of sand below it; those later images have been merged into this mosaic to create a photo document of her scientific work at the site.