See the Curiosity Rover's 1st Year On Mars in 2 Minutes (Video)

Curiosity Rover Drives 1 Kilometer on Mars
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover captured this image with its left front Hazard-Avoidance Camera (Hazcam) just after completing a drive that took the mission's total driving distance past the 1 kilometer (0.62 mile) mark. Image released July 17, 2013. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will celebrate its one-year anniversary on the Red Planet next week, and to celebrate the occasion, the space agency released a two-minute time-lapse video of the robot's first year of exploration.

The new Curiosity rover video draws on 548 fish-eye images from the rover's front Hazard-Avoidance Camera taken between August 2012 and July 2013. NASA released the clip without a soundtrack, and we added music (including the "Day of the Dog" by Matt Haick and
 "Sin on Stage" by William Werwath).

Since Curiosity touched down on Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT), it has returned tens of thousands of images and drilled samples of Martian rocks that helped researchers determine that the planet could have supported microbial life in its ancient past.

Though the SUV-sized robot has made big discoveries, it has been moving at a creeping pace. Curiosity's top speed across flat ground is just 0.09 mph (0.14 km/h), and the rover's odometer only recently passed the 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) mark of total driving distance.

But in the year ahead, the Curiosity rover is kicking into high gear. It recently set off for the longest road trip of its mission yet: a 5-mile (8 km) drive to Mount Sharp, the central mountain of the robot's landing site. In exploring the foothills of Mount Sharp, scientists hope Curiosity will uncover more evidence of how the Red Planet's past environment changed and evolved.

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Megan Gannon Contributing Writer

Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity on a Zero Gravity Corp. to follow students sparking weightless fires for science. Follow her on Twitter for her latest project.