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Curiosity rover’s biggest achievements so far as it celebrates 10 years on Mars

Today marks exactly 10 years since NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down on Mars.

The one-tonne vehicle launched from Earth in November 2011 and – after an arduous nine-month journey which included the ‘seven minutes of terror’ down to the Martian surface – it set out to look for evidence that the Red Planet may once have supported life.

Since then, Curiosity has driven nearly 18 miles (29 kilometres) and ascended 2,050 feet (625 metres) as it explores Gale Crater and the foothills of Mount Sharp within it. 

The rover has analysed 41 rock and soil samples, relying on a suite of science instruments to learn what they reveal about Earth’s rocky sibling.

Such has been its success, what was originally intended to be a two-year mission was later extended indefinitely, leading to a rather…

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