Curiosity Rover

Every Year, The Curiosity Rover Sings A Lonely Birthday Song

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

On August 5, 2012, NASA's Curiosity Rover touched down on the Martian surface for the first time. To mark this big-deal occasion, NASA engineers put a recurring annual celebration on the calendar. But it's a party of one, and the venue is Mars.

Send Rover Right Over

Curiosity, a huge accomplishment in interstellar exploration, is the largest and most capable rover ever delivered to the surface of a planet. After launching from Earth on November 26, 2011 and entering the Martian atmosphere at a break-neck speed of 13,000 mph, the rover broke ground on Mars at the Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. Curiosity was sent to the Red Planet to answer the question: Did Mars ever have the right environmental conditions to support small life forms called microbes?

When the anniversary of this rover's monumental landing rolls around, it's especially sentimental. On this day, the lonely rover performs a special task: it sings "Happy Birthday" to itself all alone. Adorable, scientifically impressive, or just... a little sad?

What's Martian For "Birthday"?

Researchers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center programmed the celebratory song to play on August 5 every year. To do this, Curiosity produces a series of frequencies that mimic the notes in the song. As reported by The Washington Post, NASA technologist Florence Tan explains that "the rover's sample analysis unit vibrates at different frequencies to move soil samples" in order to create sounds the sound like the song. It feels a little solemn knowing that the rover will never make it the 208-million-mile trek back home to celebrate on Earth. Watch the videos below to hear Curiosity "sing" the song, and feel free to sing along. Happy birthday, little buddy.

Listen To The Curiosity Rover Sing "Happy Birthday"

The rover sings itself the tune every August 5, alone on Mars.

Building The Curiosity Rover

Find out how Curiosity came together at the Kennedy Space Center.

The Curiosity Rover Mars Landing

It took some impressive science to land Curiosity on the Martian surface.

Share the knowledge!

Curiosity Rover's 360-Degree Mars View

Whoa.

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement