Picture of the Day: Curiosity’s Latest Selfie from Mars
[NASA JPL Feb. 24, 2015] This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the “Mojave” site, where its drill collected the mission’s second taste of Mount Sharp. The scene combines dozens of images taken during January 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. The pale “Pahrump Hills” outcrop surrounds the rover, and the upper portion of Mount Sharp is visible on the horizon. Darker ground at upper right and lower left holds ripples of wind-blown sand and dust.
The view does not include the rover’s robotic arm. Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic’s component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images, or portions of images, that were used in this mosaic. This process was used previously in acquiring and assembling Curiosity self-portraits taken at sample-collection sites “Rocknest” (PIA16468), “John Klein” (PIA16937) and “Windjana” (PIA18390).
The frames showing the rover in this mosaic were taken during the 868th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Jan. 14, 2015). Additional frames around the edges to extend the amount of terrain included in the scene were taken on Sol 882 (Jan. 29, 2015). The frames showing the drill holes were taken on Sol 884 (Jan. 31, 2015).
For scale, the rover’s wheels are 20 inches (50 centimeters) in diameter and about 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. The drilled holes in the rock are 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) in diameter.
MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover. [source]