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Curiosity on Mars in 2018. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA's Curiosity rover just completed its seventh year on Mars, during which the car-sized spacecraft has changed the way we understand the Red Planet.

Why it matters: Curiosity is responsible for revealing that Mars was once a wet, relatively warm and habitable world far more like Earth than scientists expected. Researchers hope that the rover will aid in even more discoveries before its life on Mars is finished.

By the numbers: Mission controllers experienced "7 minutes of terror" during its 2012 landing when a complex series of maneuvers brought Curiosity to the surface.

  • Since then, Curiosity has traveled about 13 miles on Mars, according to NASA.
  • The rover has drilled 22 samples of Martian dirt, chemically analyzing it to figure out what Mars may have looked like in the past.
  • Curiosity is now studying Mount Sharp — an 18,000-foot mountain that has deposits dating back to the time when Curiosity's part of Mars was covered in lakes and rivers.
  • NASA expects the rover can keep trucking on Mars for about 5 to 7 more years.

What's next: Curiosity discovered that Mars was likely habitable for millions of years. The rover will use its remaining years to try to solve the mystery of why that habitability ended.

  • "Did the climate change dramatically? The answer may be recorded in the rocks ahead," Curiosity project scientist Ashwin Vasavada told Axios via email.
  • Vasavada also said that the rover will be on the lookout for methane — a gas that, on Earth, can indicate life — to try to figure out where the intermittent bursts of methane on the red planet are coming from.

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  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
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Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

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4 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.