This Is How a Mars Rover Looks Like from Space

MRO shows Curiosity on Mars 1 photo
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech
For decades, the Red Planet has been at the center of attention of the beings inhabiting the neighboring blue world. With machines both on the surface and up in orbit, Mars is the most watched planet in our solar systems. But at times these machines like to watch each other.
Orbiting the reddish plains in a sun-synchronous orbit since 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has used its cameras to show the other human-made object on Mars before. In September 2018, it took a photo of the now abandoned Opportunity, and a few months after that it showed the world the landing site of the most recent missions we sent there, InSight.

This week, NASA published another photo taken millions of miles away, this time showing the Curiosity rover as it continues its mission in a place called Woodland Bay.

Just like all the previous images, this too was taken using the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the MRO.

The rover is seen as a blueish intruder in the reddish landscape, and there’s not much to look at. NASA kindly enlarged the image and it says the little white protrusion we see to the left is the rover’s head, or remote sensing mast.

NASA believes this is so because of the orientation of the robot at the time when the photo was taken. Or it could just be a Martian snapping a photo with the weird metal creature that's trampling its crops.

The Curiosity rover is the last working machine humans have on Mars. It was launched in 2012 as the last rover of the three to depart Earth.

The rover travels on 20-inch (50.8 cm) wheels which allow it to roll over obstacles up to 25 inches (65 centimeters) high as it looks for the best places to dig holes into. It currently does this in the Vera Rubin Ridge region of the planet.
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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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