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Image description: This image from NASA’s Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover’s drill. The image was taken after the sample was transferred from the drill to the rover’s scoop. 
In planned subsequent steps, the sample will be sieved, and portions of it delivered to the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument and the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument. The scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide.
Image from NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Image description: This image from NASA’s Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover’s drill. The image was taken after the sample was transferred from the drill to the rover’s scoop.

In planned subsequent steps, the sample will be sieved, and portions of it delivered to the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument and the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument. The scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide.

Image from NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Happy Birthday, Curiosity!

Video description

NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated its Martian birthday on August 5 (PDT), the day that it landed on Mars. In honor of this special ocassion, engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center used the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to “sing” Happy Birthday to Curiosity.

You can help Curiosity celebrate its first birthday too by sending it a postcard, learning about landing on Mars and more.

Video transcript

My name is Florence Tan, I’m the SAM Electrical Lead Engineer, I work at Goddard Space Flight Center. SAM stands for Sample Analysis at Mars. It is an organic chemistry lab on the Curiosity rover, it is the most well-equipped chemistry lab that we’ve sent to Mars to date.

Curiosity landed on Mars on August 5, 2012. It was born on Mars that day, and so we consider that day as its birthday.

We’re here at the test bed lab where SAM was built. It is an identical unit to the unit on Mars, and we use this unit to test our experiments before it is transmitted to Mars.

SAM will be running some great science experiments on Mars, we will be analyzing some soil samples. To make the soil samples go down, we have to program it to vibrate at various frequencies. When we’re introducing a sample into SAM, it will go through a resonance and it will sound like this.

[ electronic tone ]

To commemorate SAM’s birthday and Curiosity’s birthday on Mars, we decided to play a little song. If there’s anyone listening on Mars on this special occasion, you will hear this.

[ Happy Birthday to You ]

It’s really neat, and it’s exciting! This is a first for NASA and for the world, and music brings us all together so this is fun!

It’s been a great year on Mars and I cannot wait to get to Mount Sharp next year. We’ve discovered so many new things, and there’s still lots more discoveries to come.

Image description: This is one of the first images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a “fisheye” wide-angle lens. As planned, the rover’s early images are lower resolution. Larger color images from other cameras are expected later in the week.
View more images from Curiosity.
Image from NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image description: This is one of the first images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a “fisheye” wide-angle lens. As planned, the rover’s early images are lower resolution. Larger color images from other cameras are expected later in the week.

View more images from Curiosity.

Image from NASA/JPL-Caltech