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Our next home?
The atmosphere of Mars is very different from Earth's and is composed mainly of carbon dioxide (95%), nitrogen (3%) and argon (1.6%) with traces of oxygen, water and methane.
Recently, there has been more interest in studying its composition since detecting small amounts of methane, which could indicate the existence of some form of life.
Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011, at 15:02 UTC and landed on Aeolis Palus inside Gale on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UTC. The Bradbury Landing site was less than 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the center of the rover's touchdown target after a 350 million mile (560 million km) journey.
The rover's goals include an investigation of the Martian climate and geology; assessment of if the selected field site inside Gale has ever offered environmental conditions favorable to microbial life, including an investigation of the role of water; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for human exploration.
Thanks to Curiosity's 360º camera, we have incredible photographs of the surface of Mars.
Currently, many private companies and the main international space agencies have their eyes on the surface of the red planet.
It is expected that the first humans will be able to walk on Mars before the end of this decade and even establish a permanent colony in this century, even before one on our Moon.