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Timelapse shows 9 months of life on Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover, the 1-ton mobile laboratory that's been going around Mars since August 2012, has sent tens of thousands of images of the remote planet back to Earth.

Now a man has created a unique time lapse out of the images. Karl Sanford has compiled raw images from Curiosity's mission, creating a stunning visual chronicle of the rover's movements on Mars.

Sanford used images taken by Curiosity's Front Hazard Avoidance Cameras, or Front Hazcams, which were snapped from Sol 0 to Sol 281. The resulting video covers some nine Earth-months of the rover's data-gathering mission on Mars.

The rover is the result of NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech in Pasadena, California.

Launched from Cape Canaveral on Nov. 26, 2011, Curiosity successfully landed in the Red Planet's Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012.

The rover's radioisotope thermoelectric power-generator, supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy, produces electricity for its journey on the planet's surface. Drawing from that long-lasting energy source, Curiosity is expected to be operational for at least a full Mars year, or 687 Earth days.

The rover has already achieved its chief goal, which was to find out whether Mars could have once sustained microbial life.

Despite technically completing its mission, Curiosity will stay on the planet gathering data, and continuing to examine our distant neighbor.

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