“At first glance, the Mars rover Curiosity, a six-wheeled vehicle that weighs nearly a ton, looks like a mash-up between a dune buggy and a space-age robot,” reads a description on a NASA Web site. “But in many ways, Curiosity has been made in our image, with camera eyes that gaze out from a head supported by a neck, and an arm and ‘hand’ that can scoop things up and dig into rocks and dirt.” In the below TikTok video posted by user @astro_alexandra, we hear the birthday song and also learn about all currently active NASA Mars rovers, including where they are and whether they ever cross paths. 


“Ahh, that’s just sad,” writes commenter @deannnn_0. “Why am I crying? It’s just a robot,” asks @xhlongwane. User @oscar_25__ has a thought: “Imagine the person who wrote the happy birthday tune not knowing it would be the first song ever played on another planet,” he says. “Why was I programmed to feel pain?” writes @seancarnell59, thinking of what the robot might be wondering. “I want to hug him,” says @patica_lovessocks. “Are we sure they don’t feel anything?” asks @m.i.a666. “The first time I can relate to a robot,” sympathizes @imnottommy_0. NASA contributes to the sympathy, adding more information that humanizes the robot: “The rover also has a kind of mouth, nose, throat, and stomach. These allow Curiosity to take Mars into itself, breathing in the air and eating the rocks and soil, becoming one with the desert landscape. Over the years, Curiosity has chewed on the question of what the planet Mars is made of, conducting an elementary study of the alien environment.” Recommended for you

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