On the Cover: Named for that special characteristic that fuels humanity’s desire to reach beyond its grasp, Curiosity captured this photo of itself on Mars with its Navigation Camera on August 28, 2012. Delivered to the Red Planet by a crazily complex landing procedure, the most advanced spacecraft laboratory in history is busy looking for evidence of past (or present) life on Mars—proving once again that space exploration brings out the best in us. NASA / JPL-Caltech
6 Curiosity’s First Days on Mars:Bruce Betts recaps those exciting first few moments in August.
8 Planetfest 2012:Donna Stevens looks back at our celebration of Curiosity’s landing.
11 Incredible Upgrades:Bruce Betts reports on upgrades to Optical SETI hardware and more.