Curiosity Rover Takes A Bunch Of Cool Self-Portraits

Curiosity Camera

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

As NASA’s Curiosity rover prepares to take her first long drive to a spot called Glenelg, her keepers back on Earth continue to test and inspect several of the robot’s cameras and high-tech tools on its arm. These instruments, which include a drill, a camera and the dust removal tool, will eventually be used to collect and analyse samples from the ground.In a series of “checkouts,” the one-ton rolling laboratory stretched its seven-foot robotic arm and snapped a bunch of pictures of itself. The images were taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MaHLI, which is designed to take very close, high-resolution images of rock and soil at Curiosity’s landing site, Gale Crater.  

A view of Curiosity three left wheels. The rover's ultimate destination, Mount Sharp, is seen in the background.

This pictures shows the rover's underbelly and hazard avoidance cameras on the front.

A colour image of the Mars Hand Lens Imager's calibration target. The coloured blocks are used as a reference point to calibrate the colour in images of the Martian landscape.

A detailed picture of the Martian surface taken on sol 33. The largest rock at the bottom of the picture is about 3 inches wide.

The Mars Hand Lens Imager's dust cover was opened for the first time on sol 33, allowing it to take the first clear image of the Martian surface, shown in the centre. For comparison, the image on the left was taken before the dust cover was opened and the image on the right was taken after it was shut again.

Curiosity used the Mars Hand Lens Imager on its arm to take a picture of itself. Seen here is the top of the rover's mast that holds the Mastcam and Chemcam cameras. The picture appears slightly fuzzy because it was snapped with the dust cover on.

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