Color view of dusty rover on Mars.

This May 11, 2016, self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the "Okoruso" drilling site on lower Mount Sharp's "Naukluft Plateau." The scene is a mosaic of multiple images taken with the arm-mounted Mars Hands Lens Imager (MAHLI). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars Science Laboratory rover, named Curiosity, launched on Nov. 26, 2011, landed successfully on Mars on Aug. 5, 2012. It is the first NASA mission to use the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG).

Curiosity is collecting Martian soil samples and rock cores, and is analyzing them for organic compounds and environmental conditions that could have supported microbial life now or in the past. Curiosity is the fourth rover the United States has sent to Mars and the largest, most capable rover ever sent to study a planet other than Earth.

More on Curiosity ›

Curiosity: Time on Mars

August 6, 2012