From the November 2013 issue

Spy on the Mars Curiosity rover

Use an interactive map to see what everyone’s favorite interplanetary robot has been up to.
By | Published: November 25, 2013 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Mars Curiosity rover panorama
The New York Times put raw Mars Curiosity images together into animations and panoramas like this one.
The New York Times/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
If you have some wanderlust in your blood, living vicariously through the Mars Curiosity rover could either calm you down or make you jealous. Either way, knowledge is power, and The New York Times’ Jonathan Corum and Jeremy White conspired to give you the most knowledge possible about Curiosity’s journeys. In honor of the first anniversary of the rover’s landing, they created an interactive graphic that shows what the rover has done each day of its stay on the Red Planet (a few days are missing, but even an interplanetary mission needs downtime). They still update it!

You can click on a location on a map of Curiosity’s path, and that day’s description will appear. You can click on a spot in a location-based timeline, and the map will adjust itself and the day’s images will pop up. If you have lots of downtime yourself, you can step through the rover’s life 24-hour period by 24-hour period. Play around with it, be awed by the non-viral GIFs The New York Times created from the rover’s raw data, and refine your perspective on our sandy neighbor.