Curiosity's "Bootprint" on Mars

October 4, 2012 by Nancy Atkinson
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Looking very similar to the iconic first footprint on the Moon from the Apollo 11 landing, this new raw image from the Curiosity rover on Mars shows one of the first "scuff" marks from the rover's wheels on a small sandy ridge. This image was taken today by Curiosity's right Navcam on Sol 57 (2012-10-03 19:08:27 UTC).

Besides being on different worlds, the two prints likely have a very different future. says the first footprints on the will be there for a million years, since there is no wind to blow them away. Research on the tracks left by Spirit and revealed the time scale for track erasure by wind is typically only one Martian year or two Earth years.

Here's one of Buzz Aldrin's bootprint, to compare:

The GRIN website (Great Images in NASA) says this is an image of Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Credit: NASA

Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger compared earlier images of some of the first tracks left on Mars by Curiosity to images of the footprints left by Aldrin and Armstrong on the Moon. "I think instead of a human, it's a robot pretty much doing the same thing," he said.

Explore further: Mojave Desert tests prepare for NASA Mars Roving

More information: GRIN website:

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not rated yet Oct 05, 2012
This new raw image shows what the microbes get up to in their spare time.

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