Curiosity can look up to its older, wiser cousins.
On January 3, 2004, a vehicle the size of a golf cart, standing on six wheels and weighing about a fifth of a ton, landed on the surface of Mars. The rover -- official name: Mars Exploration Rover-A; given name: Spirit -- had begun its mission to the Red Planet. Three weeks later, another vehicle -- a twin of the first, officially named MER-B and actually called Opportunity -- made its own Martian arrival. On the other side of the planet.
The robotic pair would join four other rovers -- the USSR's Prop-M rovers, Britain's Beagle 2, and the United States's Sojourner -- in exploring the surface of mars. And they would go on to traverse Mars -- seeking, in particular, signs of past water activity -- for much longer than their human benefactors initially intended. While Spirit's primary surface mission was originally planned to last at least 90 sols (90 Martian days), that mission was extended several times -- lasting, ultimately, about 2,208 sols. Which is to say, about six years. (After getting stuck in some soft Martian sand, and despite NASA's "free Spirit" campaign, Spirit finally lost contact with Earth in March 2010.) And Opportunity, bless its robotic little heart, is still exploring the planet. Powered by solar panels and, you have to assume, just a little bit of moxie.