For its fourth birthday, the Curiosity rover on Mars is getting its very own game.
It’s been four Earth years since the Mars rover landed on the red planet on Aug. 6, 2012 and NASA partnered with the gamer network app GAMEE to develop the Mars Rover video game in celebration of the anniversary. The game lets players drive the rover around a simulation of Mars and earn points depending on how well the rover is navigated and balanced on the planet’s rough terrain.
“We’re excited about a new way for people on the go to engage with Curiosity’s current adventures on Mars and future exploration by NASA's Mars 2020 rover too,” Michelle Viotti, manager of Mars public engagement initiatives at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. “Using social networks, the user can share the fun with friends. The interest that is shared through gameplay also helps us open a door to deeper literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she added.
The game is available as a free download for mobile devices on iOS and Android platforms, as well as for desktops. It will also show players how NASA’s next Mars rover will use radar to search for water below the surface of our red neighbor. The upcoming rover is scheduled for a 2020 launch.
Curiosity has, in its time on Mars, sent over 128,000 pictures, fired its laser at least 362,000 times and driven 8.43 miles.