The little rover finally made it!
After driving for more than two years across treacherous terrain, NASA's Curiosity rover has finally reached its target on Mars: the base of a nearly 3.5-mile-high peak known as Mount Sharp.
If you're not wowed by the space agency's official announcement, have a look at what Curiosity tweeted:
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) September 11, 2014
Sounds like someone's been listening to Meghan Trainor.
Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6, 2012 in Gale Crater. Since then the rover has been slowly motoring along, drilling into rocks and collecting samples on its way to Mount Sharp. So far, the rover's research has proved Mars was once warmer, wetter, and potentially habitable.
The rover is set to trek up through Mount Sharp's foothills, starting in an area called Pahrump Hills. Mission scientists hope the geological history preserved in the mountain's rocks will help reveal how the planet's environment changed to create the dusty landscape we see today.
While the Curiosity mission has recently come under fire for spending too much time on driving and not enough on drilling and collecting samples, the space agency issued a strong defense.
"We have been driving hard for many months to reach the entry point to Mount Sharp," Jennifer Trosper, Curiosity Deputy Project Manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a written statement. "Now that we've made it, we'll be adjusting the operations style from a priority on driving to a priority on conducting the investigations needed at each layer of the mountain."