People across the country cheered when the Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 6. The rover has been busy studying Mars for months. What can we learn from a robot that is 154 million miles away?
Plenty, say scientists. Spacecraft sent to explore the planet in the past have shown that life on Mars is possible. Curiosity may be able to prove that. Scientist John Grotzinger says that he and others who work with Curiosity "feel a sense of pressure." They want to make important discoveries on the Red Planet.
Follow the Water
All living things need water. Mars is dry now, but it was wet for about a billion years. That could have been enough time to cook up life. Curiosity has been studying the rocks and soil for clues about other things needed for there to be life.
Curiosity has 17 cameras. It is sending pictures back to Earth. The rover's arm is scooping up soil and studying it. Will Curiosity's success lead to more missions? Scientists hope so. The United States plans to launch a spacecraft this year. It will circle Mars and send back information.