Mars rover sings to itself on Mars

By Pat Pilcher

It seems like just yesterday, but it's already been a year since Nasa's Curiosity rover completed the complex descent in what Nasa engineers dubbed "7 minutes of terror" to safely land on the surface of Mars.

Since then we've been treated to an incredible range of hi-res images from the surface of the red planet and an amazing amount scientific discoveries have also been made.

With Curiosity now having its first birthday so far away from home, Nasa got creative.

Delivering a cake to Mars may have been a tad impractical (not to mention that lighting its candles in the thin Martian atmosphere would also have been difficult), so Nasa got Curiosity to sing "Happy Birthday" to itself. This was done using a built-in sample analysis instrument which was able to create sounds by vibrating at different frequencies.

In true Nasa fashion, nothing was left to chance, and the Happy Birthday song was first tested out on an identical earthbound sample analysis instrument before the instructions were beamed to Curiosity.

Although no one was around to help the little rover that could celebrate a truly amazing milestone, there was conjecture around how the authorities would prosecute Curiosity for downloading music. So far lawyers are however holding off from sending a team to Mars to bust curiosity.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Curiosity celebrating its first birthday is that it can soon look forward to doing it all over again twice as a Martian year is about 687 Earth days, so in theory, Curiosity will get a two-for-one anniversary on its second birthday. Happy Birthday Curiosity!

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