6 August 2012

NASA’s Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars.

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the Curiosity rover is a robotic spacecraft that was sent to Mars by NASA as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. It’s designed to explore the Martian surface and gather information about the planet’s past and present habitability, as well as to search for evidence of past microbial life.

Launch and Landing: Curiosity was launched on November 26, 2011, and it landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. Its landing site is Gale Crater, which was chosen because it contains a layered mound called Mount Sharp that scientists believe holds a record of past environmental conditions on Mars.

Size and Design: Curiosity is much larger and more capable than previous Mars rovers like Spirit and Opportunity. It’s about the size of a car and weighs roughly 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). Its size allowed it to carry a wide array of scientific instruments.

Scientific Instruments: Curiosity is equipped with a suite of instruments that allow it to analyze the Martian environment in detail. Some of these instruments include cameras for imaging the surface, a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (ChemCam) for analyzing the composition of rocks and soils, an X-ray diffraction and fluorescence instrument (CheMin) to identify minerals, and a drill to collect rock and soil samples.

Power Source: Unlike solar-powered rovers like Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) that uses the heat from the natural decay of plutonium-238 to generate electricity.

Mission Objectives: Curiosity’s primary mission objectives are to determine whether Mars has ever had conditions suitable for supporting microbial life, to study the planet’s geology, and to investigate the role of water in shaping the Martian landscape.

Discoveries and Achievements: Curiosity has made numerous important discoveries during its mission, including finding evidence of a potentially habitable environment in the past, detecting organic molecules in Martian rocks, and providing insights into the planet’s atmospheric composition and history.

Longevity: Originally designed for a two-year mission, Curiosity has far exceeded expectations and continues to operate and send back valuable data. As of my last update, the rover was still operational and conducting scientific research on Mars.

6 August 1944

The Warsaw Uprising occurs on August 1. It is brutally suppressed and all able-bodied men in Kraków are detained afterwards to prevent a similar uprising, the Kraków Uprising, that was planned but never carried out.

6 August 1930

The judge, Joseph Force Crater steps into a taxi in New York and disappears never to be seen again.

NEW YORK — You can come back now, Judge Crater. Everybody’s dead.

Sixty-five years ago, on Aug. 6, New York State Judge Joseph Force Crater caught a cab in midtown Manhattan and completely vanished.

His disappearance captured the imagination of America, mired in the Great Depression and has never entirely let go.

Groucho Marx joked he was going to “step out and look for Judge Crater,” while nightclub comedians quipped, “Judge Crater, please call your office.”

Mad magazine ran a cartoon showing Lassie having finally found the missing judge, while on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” a judge reassured an anxious Rob and Laura Petrie that, no, he wasn’t “that” Crater – his name was spelled K-r-a-d-a.

Pulling a Crater, i.e. disappearing, became part of the lexicon.

Jokes aside, experts in the case have determined that the 41-year-old Crater spent the morning of Aug. 6, 1930, hastily packing up papers in his office and cashing large personal checks at two separate banks.

Named to the bench by then New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Crater had been a judge for just four months.

That evening, Crater ate dinner at a steakhouse on West 45th Street with friends, one of them a showgirl. He was last seen getting in a cab at 9:15 p.m., headed to the theater.

Was he silenced by the mob? Did he flee for his life? Did he leave his wife for another woman? Everyone had a theory.

“Every kid grew up wondering, where did Judge Crater go?” said Lincoln Diamant, author of books on New York history.

The Crater craze took hold less than a year after the stock market’s devastating crash, he noted.

“People were trying to steady themselves and get a grip on things and then somebody totally disappeared before their eyes,” he said.

Over the years, Crater was spotted, like Elvis, in the most unlikely places–running bingo games in Africa, prospecting for gold in California, herding sheep in the Northwest.

Most people suspected the mob had hired a hit man to silence Crater for what he supposedly knew about political corruption in New York. The historian for the city Police Department, John Podracky, said that’s become the semiofficial consensus.

Others thought the judge disappeared in fear. One theory had him fleeing to avoid forced to testify in a corruption probe.

Still others imagine his motives lay elsewhere. There’s a theory he was killed for dallying with a gangster’s girlfriend, and another that “Good Time Joe,” as he was known, took off with one of several mistresses.

As for Crater, he would be 106–a tough age for someone on the run for 65 years.

But New Yorkers still wonder. They ask after Crater at the New York Historical Society, the reference librarian said.

“We don’t have an update,” she said. “It’s the same old mystery.”

6 August 1825

Bolivia gets it independence from Spain.


The Bolivian war of independence began in 1809 with the establishment of Spanish American Independence. Sucre and La Paz, after the Chuquisaca Revolution. These Juntas were defeated shortly after, and the cities fell again under Spanish control. The May Revolution of 1810 ousted the viceroy in Buenos Aires, which established its own junta. Buenos Aires sent three military campaigns to the Charcas, headed by Juan José Castelli and José Rondeau”, but the royalists ultimately prevailed over each one. However, the conflict grew into a Guerrilla warfare, preventing the royalists from strengthening their presence. After Simón Bolívar and Antonio José de Sucre defeated the royalists in northern South America, Sucre led a campaign that was to defeat the royalists in Charcas for good when the last royalist general, Pedro Antonio Olañeta, suffered death and defeat at the hands of his own defected forces at the battle of Tumusla. Bolivian independence was proclaimed on August 6 of 1825.

The deliberating Assembly convened anew in Chuquisaca on 9 July 1825. It concluded with the determination of the complete independence of Upper Peru, in the form of a republic, for the sovereignty of its children. Finally, the president of the Assembly – José Mariano Serrano – and a commission wrote the “Act of Independence”, which bears the date 6 August 1825 in honor of the Battle of Junín won by Bolívar.

The Act of Independence’s introduction says, in a vibrant voice: The world knows that Upper Peru has been on the American continent, the altar on which was spilled the first blood of the free and the land where exists the tomb of the last of the tyrants…The provinces of Upper Peru, united in resolution, proclaim on the face of the whole earth, that their irrevocable resolution is to govern themselves.