Published: Sat, February 03, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Curiosity rover snaps selfie with Mars' Mount Sharp before climb

Curiosity rover snaps selfie with Mars' Mount Sharp before climb

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover snapped this self portrait while parked on the side of Mount Sharp at the heart of Gayle Crater.

Released this week, the photo shows Curiosity in the middle of the dusty, red Martian terrain, with Mount Sharp in the background. "From our perch on Vera Rubin Ridge, the vast plains of the crater floor stretch out to the spectacular mountain range that forms the northern rim of Gale Crater".

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover recently sent back a series of photos showing the view of planet's Gale Crater from Vera Rubin Ridge.

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The latest Rover selfie, seen above, is stitched together from a series of shots taken on the red planet's Vera Rubin Ridge inside Gale Crater.

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At least, you would be able to see all of it were Curiosity's mast/"head" not blocking the view. The rover's arm which held the camera was positioned out of each of the dozens of shots which make up the mosaic.

Last week, the Curiosity team on Earth received copious new images from the rover through a record-setting relay by NASA's MAVEN orbiter - surpassing a gigabit of data during a single relay session from Mars for the first time in history. The U.S. space agency says its next step regarding the Curiosity will be firing its drill to collect powdered rock samples back up.

The Curiosity Rover has been roaming the surface of Mars since it landed on the planet in 2012 - sending photos of its travels back to Earth for years. The mountain's base provides access to layers formed over millions of years. These layers formed in the presence of water - likely due to a lake or lakes that sat at the bottom of the mountain, which sits inside Gale Crater.

The Curiosity Rover touched down on Mars on 6 August 2012. The plan is for the rover to climb the slope in the coming weeks to continue exploring.

While NASA prepares their fancy Mars 2020 rover to be launched in. well, 2020, the previous Mars rover is still running extremely smoothly.

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