NASA Mars selfie shows Curiosity rover proudly posing with drill holes – CNET


This Curiosity rover selfie image features the rover overlooking its drilling handiwork in October 2020.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

The human imagination isn't bound by Earth, and there's no better reminder of the worlds beyond our planet than a fresh selfie from Mars. NASA's Curiosity rover is looking sharp in a new view shared on Monday. 

The selfie is courtesy of Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera and citizen scientist Kevin Gill's ability to stitch multiple images into a complete picture of the rover. Gill is also a software engineer who describes himself as a "data wrangler" at NASA-JPL. 

There are a lot of fun tidbits to explore in this image. For starters, the rover is chilling with a collection of three drill holes visible just to its left. One of these (at the far left edge of the formation) is a broken rock at a location named "Groken." The rock cracked when Curiosity drilled into it.

Next, take a look at Curiosity's middle wheel and check out the cracks it's developed from long years toiling atop the rough Martian landscape. It might look bad, but the rover is actually working just fine and NASA has figured out ways to mitigate the damage.  

We also get a lovely view of Curiosity's surroundings where it's exploring inside the Gale Crater. If it looks a little hazy in the distance, that may be because Mars is into its dusty season when the wind whips up dust devils and the sky can turn opaque.

Curiosity's mission of exploration continues as we wait for its sibling, the Perseverance rover, to reach Mars in February 2021. Then we can look forward to double the Mars selfies.

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