Mars Curiosity High-Resolution Self-Portrait

MSL Rover Self Portrait

MSL Self Portrait –
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on Sol 84 (Oct. 31, 2012) to take this self portrait. The new rover appears shiny and clean. It will be interesting to see how it looks after a few years on Mars.  Below you can see a 360-degree view of the Spirit Rover, called the “McMurdo” panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam). The image is an approximate true color image taken on sol 814 of the Spirit rover mission.

Spirit Rover Pancam image Sol 814

 

The Spirit rover clearly has a large amount of martian dust on it which causes the solar panels to not work as effectivly in generating power for the rover. Unlike Spirit, Curiosity has a nuclear power supply so any accumulation of martian dust will not have any effect on the rover. This will also allow the rover to remain active through the winter seasons unlike the earlier Mars rovers which had to stop much of their activity during this time.

The MSL Curiosity image was created using a set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait.

The mosaic shows the rover at “Rocknest,” the spot in Gale Crater where the mission’s first scoop sampling took place. Four scoop scars can be seen in the regolith in front of the rover.

The base of Gale Crater’s 3-mile-high (5-kilometer) sedimentary mountain, Mount Sharp, rises on the right side of the frame. Mountains in the background to the left are the northern wall of Gale Crater. The Martian landscape appears inverted within the round, reflective ChemCam instrument at the top of the rover’s mast.

About the author

Recipient of many prestigious NASA Awards including the Exceptional Public Service Medal and the Robert H. Goddard award. Experience includes working for NASA, as a contractor, in satellite design, construction and operations. Expert in the satellite operations concepts and ground systems including command, control, and science data processing.