The galaxy’s most popular robot celebrates its first year on Mars

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Tumblr, or elsewhere on the Internet.

Today, the most talked about robot in the universe celebrates its first year in service.

Aptly named the Mars Curiosity Rover, the 1,980-pound explorer has been the subject of hundreds of memes, fan art, and GIFs since it landed on the red planet on Aug. 6, 2012. Not to mention, a hugely popular Twitter account and parody account tweeting out the best Mars moments.

Many of the GIFs, including the two below, have been made using photographs captured by the rover. These photographs were compiled into a stunning NASA highlight reel posted Thursday on YouTube, where it’s been viewed 928,000 times. 


“The time has gone by quickly, but we’re amazed at how much we were able to accomplish,” Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger told Fox News. “The whole thing has just been the experience of a lifetime.”

Last fall, my colleague Jason “challenger” Reed and I created the following Curiosity-inspired Daily Dot doodle as part of a holiday project. Because of some scheduling and programming snafus, it never saw the light of day. Until now.


Illustration by darkriderdlmc/deviantART | GIFs by Fernando Alfonso III and Jason Reed

Fernando Alfonso III

Fernando Alfonso III

Fernando Alfonso III served as an early Reddit and 4chan reporter and the Daily Dot’s first art director until 2016. He’s gone on to report at Lexington’s Herald-Leader and at the Houston Chronicle.