Photo: NASA's Mars Curiosity Sent a 'Postcard' of Memorable Spots Along Its Total 11 Miles of Travel

It's always nice to look back occasionally and take stock of how far you've come—even if you've only come 11 miles in five years. It's OK, Curiosity, we've all had those days.

As of October 25, everyone's favorite Martian science robot had climbed 1,073 feet and put a whopping 10.95 miles on its odometer. That put it in a perfect position to finally see most of the terrain it has covered during its adventures on the Red Planet.

01_31_mars_curiosity_path A postcard from Curiosity. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The rover landed on August 5, 2012, at a spot within Gale Crater, a 96-mile-wide crater named for an Australian astronomer. That wasn't a random choice: Scientists thought it was a good bet that there had once been water at the crater, especially since it's at a relatively low elevation. Of course, they also needed some place it was safe to land.

Gale Crater also has some scenic appeal, because tucked within it is Mount Sharp, a 3.4 mile-high peak that may have been formed by harsh winds biting away at layers of dirt. That makes it an intriguing site to study Martian geology.

Read more: NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Watched the Sun Set and It Will Take Your Breath Away

Curiosity is currently perched on a part of Mount Sharp called Vera Rubin Ridge, named for the American astronomer who discovered dark matter. From there, it can almost see where it first set tread on Mars, at Bradbury Landing, tucked just behind a tiny hill.

Other destinations the rover has visited seen in the photograph include Yellowknife Bay, where it spent Christmas 2012 and first used its drill; Darwin, which it examined in 2013 for signs of water; and Cooperstown, an outcrop where it studied strange rock layers.

01_31_curiosity_mars_panorama The rover's full view. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The mountains in the distance are actually the edge of the crater, about 15 miles away from Curiosity. Since snapping the panorama, the rover has trundled onward south and 85 feet higher along the ridge, pausing every once in a while to take a closer look at the site's geology. It's headed to a spot known as Clay Unit in hopes of studying minerals made of, yes, clay.

The scientists behind the rover tweaked the image so that rock looks as it would here on Earth in our normal sunlight. That means we aren't seeing precisely what Curiosity sees, but we can better compare it to terrestrial geology we're more used to seeing.

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