It’s been one year since the Mars Curiosity rover touched down on the mysterious red planet, and since then, has taught us more about the planet than we ever could have imagined. Unfortunately for Mars Curiosity, there’s no way to shoot a birthday cake over to him that wouldn’t result in it becoming a big, gooey mess, so the next best thing is for the rover to sing “Happy Birthday” to himself.
NASA accomplished this feat by vibrating Mars Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument at different frequencies, which of course they tested out on an identical SAM unit here on Earth before it was sent over to Curiosity. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having the “Happy Birthday” song performed incorrectly on an alien planet, since we’re sure every living being in the galaxy knows the tune by heart.
Lucky for us, NASA chronicled the entire experience in an easy-to-watch video which not only describes the entire process of having Curiosity sing “Happy Birthday” to itself, but also has the tune played on their local SAM instrument, so we can know what Martians heard for hours on the rover’s birthday.