Curiosity is a robotic rover that landed on Mars in August 2012. It's packed with scientific instruments, and its goal is investigating whether Mars has ever had environmental conditions favorable for life.
Did you know?
Curiosity's software has more than 500,000 lines of code.
NASA started the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission around 2004, as part of its Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort for the robotic exploration of Mars. The main goal is studying whether the Gale Crater area of Mars has evidence of past and present habitable environments. The MSL mission is managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif., which previously built the successful Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and before them, Sojourner. JPL completed the Curiosity rover and its transport spacecraft in 2011, and launch took place in November 2011. Curiosity successfully landed in Gale Crater on 6 August 2012. It's now exploring the planet's climate and geology using 10 different scientific instruments designed by an international team. The total cost of the MSL project, including hardware, development, and operations, is about US $2.5 billion.