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TIMES Person Of The Year Nomination: An Unlikely Candidate

An artist’s rendering of the Curiosity rover on Mars soil

By SOURAV Chakraborty
November 27, 2012

Guess who's the latest nominee TIMES Person of the Year? Barrack Obama? No. Xi Jinping? No. Tim Cook? No.

The latest nomination for the TIMES Person of the Year has gone for as unlikely a candidate as anything - the Curiosity rover.

In case you don't know who (or rather what) the Curiosity rover is, Curiosity is NASA’s latest and probably the most important mission to Mars in the recent years. The Curiosity took off on November 26, 2011 for the Red Planet and in this one year it has sent back enough scientific data to change the course of human understanding of Mars forever. Curiosity landed on Mars on August 5 this year, and in a Hollywood hero-style entrance; the final minutes of its landing having been dubbed the “seven minutes of terror”.

Although, Curiosity’s grand entrance, TIMES Magazine notes, was what made the world stand up take notice of it, the rover’s achievements have gone far beyond that.

Curiosity at work on the Red Planet

The Curiosity has sent back a staggering 23,000 raw images, already driven 517 meters and has delivered some history making data, all within only these three months of its 3 year mission on Mars. The Curiosity rover even delivers information to the public via a three-woman team in NASA, on its own social media network, through the social media site Foursquare, checking-in from the Red Planet, with regular tweets and updates for future travelers.

Here goes one of her updates, she checked-in from the Gale crater, on August 6 immediately after her landing:

Mars is cold, dry and rocky. Extra moisturizer and sturdy shoes would be a good idea, plus oxygen for those of you who breathe.   


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