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Editor's Note

Driving Curiosity to discovery

9:00am, April 22, 2015

Clara Ma, who in 2009 won an essay contest to name NASA’s new Mars rover, named it Curiosity. “Curiosity,” the young student wrote, “is an everlasting flame that burns in everyone’s mind. It makes me get out of bed in the morning and wonder what surprises life will throw at me…. When I was younger, I wondered, ‘Why is the sky blue?’, ‘Why do the stars twinkle?’, ‘Why am I me?’, and I still do.”

Prone to bouts of wonder myself, I like Ma’s choice. Curiosity is the most advanced robot to roll on the Red Planet, and the fourth NASA rover on Mars. One other NASA rover, Opportunity, is still wheeling around up there. With 17 cameras and an onboard lab, Curiosity has explored a nearly 10

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