NASA's Curiosity Rover Takes Another Martian Selfie

NASA Curiosity Selfie 6 photos
NASA Mars RoversNASA Mars RoversNASA Mars RoversNASA Mars RoversNASA Mars Rovers
Just as the Opportunity rover was getting its good clothes on to celebrate its 14th year on the surface of the Red Planet, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) other rover on Mars, the Curiosity, was stealing the spotlight with a new selfie it made.
The portrait photo was taken by the machine on January 23, from Vera Rubin Ridge, a site about 1,000 vertical feet (300 meters) up the flanks of Mount Sharp, NASA says. The rover has been in the area for several months and is preparing to continue its mission by checking out some clay deposits.

"The mountain's base provides access to layers formed over millions of years," NASA says in a statement. "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 selfie of the rover is not a selfie per se, but rather a mosaic made up of several photos made by the vehicle's Mars Hands Lens Imager.

Curiosity arrived on Mars in 2012, after escaping what NASA called the Seven Minutes of Terror landing: using complicated maneuvering for the task instead of rolling, as initially planned.

This Martian rover is hoped to be the one that gives scientists the answer to their burning question: is, or was there, any life on Mars? It is equipped to carry several scientific experiments, analyze and photograph any rock within reach.

It is the size of a small SUV, 9 feet 10 inches long by 9 feet 1 inch wide (3 m by 2.8 m), and it rides on 20-inch (50.8 cm) wheels. The huge wheels allow it to roll over obstacles up to 25 inches (65 centimeters) high.

The Curiosity is powered by a multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator that decays plutonium-238 for electricity. The top speed of the rover is about 660 feet (200 meters) per day.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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