On Aug. 5, 2012, at 10:31 p.m. PDT, I was standing in silence (with Discovery News' Irene Klotz and Amy Teitel) in the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's press room with dozens of representatives from national and international media. We were all transfixed on one large TV screen that showed views from JPL mission control (a mere stone's throw from the media gathering) and flashed up computer renderings of the descending rover approaching the Martian surface.
As soon as the signal was received from Mars that the mission had successfully touched down inside Gale Crater, the TV depicted scenes of pure jubilation and the press room erupted first with cheers, then rapid mouseclicking as all the major news outlets released the good news to the world. The celebrations were quickly followed by the first photographs through Curiosity's eyes, marking the beginning of the mission that, very quickly, would transform our knowledge of the red planet.
So, just one year on from the exciting entry, descent and landing (EDL) -- a.k.a. "The Seven Minutes of Terror" -- let's review some of the key discoveries that Curiosity has made so far in its epic adventure on Mars.
PHOTOS: Mars Through Curiosity's Powerful MAHLI Camera