AP PHOTOS: Curiosity rover's first year on Mars

August 6, 2013 - 2:37 PM
Mars Curiosity Photo Gallery

FILE - This image provided by NASA shows a color self-portrait of the Mars rover Curiosity. The rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture dozens of high-resolution images to be combined into self-portrait images of the rover. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A year ago, NASA's Curiosity rover survived "seven minutes of terror" and landed safely in an ancient Martian crater.

Like a tourist in a new land, the mobile science laboratory spent its first year sightseeing and exploring its surroundings. It zapped its laser at boulders, drilled into rocks, measured radiation and tracked the weather.

It achieved one of the mission's main goals by finding evidence that Gale Crater once had an environment suitable to support simple life.

The six-wheel, nuclear-powered rover is now headed for a mountain — a drive that will take many months.

Here's a gallery of images from Curiosity's landing and past year on Mars.