NASA | JPL-Caltech | MSL Curiosity | 2019 Oct 24
A new selfie taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is breathtaking, but it's especially meaningful for the mission's team: Stitched together from 57 individual images taken by a camera on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm, the panorama also commemorates only the second time the rover has performed a special chemistry experiment.
The selfie was taken on Oct. 11, 2019 (Sol 2,553) in a location named "Glen Etive" (pronounced "glen EH-tiv"), which is part of the "clay-bearing unit," a region the team has eagerly awaited reaching since before Curiosity launched. Visible in the left foreground are two holes Curiosity drilled named "Glen Etive 1" (right) and "Glen Etive 2" (left) by the science team. The rover can analyze the chemical composition of rock samples by powderizing them with the drill, then dropping the samples into a portable lab in its belly called Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM).
About 984 feet (300 meters) behind the rover is Vera Rubin Ridge, which Curiosity departed nearly a year ago. Beyond the ridge, you can see the floor of Gale Crater and the crater's northern rim. Curiosity has been ascending Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain inside the crater. ...