Saturday, 24 February, 2018

Curiosity Mars rover takes selfie with Mount Sharp

Image via NASA  JPL Image via NASA JPL
Guillermo Lane | 03 February, 2018, 03:26

The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images, or portions of images, that were used in this mosaic.

Curiosity has only traveled 11.26 miles (18.13 kilometers) on the surface of Mars, but it's already been an fantastic journey, giving us an unprecedented view of the Red Planet and allowing researchers to understand our planetary neighbor better than ever before.

Curiosity took the selfie on January 23 from Vera Rubin Ridge, a site about 1,000 vertical feet (300 meters) up the flanks of Mount Sharp. The U.S. space agency reports that the image above includes most of the 11-mile route the Curiosity has traveled in the past six years.

"From our perch on Vera Rubin Ridge, the vast plains of the crater floor stretch out to the spectacular mountain range that forms the northern rim of Gale Crater", said Vasavada.

Curiosity has had quite a journey since it touched down on Mars in August 2012, and now the little rover that could has taken a moment to look back.

Check out a NASA video showing Curiosity's view from the ridge below.

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A new self-portrait by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the dusty robot hard at work on the slopes of a towering Red Planet mountain.

Last week, the Curiosity team on Earth received new images from the rover through a record-setting relay by NASA's MAVEN orbiter that surpassed a gigabit of data during a single relay session from Mars for the first time in history. Directly behind the rover is the start of a clay-rich slope scientists are eager to begin exploring.

While NASA prepares their fancy Mars 2020 rover to be launched in. well, 2020, the previous Mars rover is still running extremely smoothly. "These layers formed in the presence of water - likely due to a lake or lakes where sediments accumulated, which formed these layers inside Gale Crater".

The rover has proved to be a treasure trove of stunning Martian images, sending back over 224,000 snaps since it first arrived on the red planet.

Parts of this story originally appeared in The Sun and have been republished with permission.

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