Mars Rover Dusts off Surface for a better look.

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Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

First Use of Mars Rover Curiosity’s Dust Removal Tool

This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows the patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover’s Dust Removal Tool (DRT).

The tool is a motorized, wire-bristle brush on the turret at the end of the rover’s arm. Its first use was on the 150th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Jan. 6, 2013). MAHLI took this image from a distance of about 10 inches (25 centimeters) after the brushing was completed on this rock target called “Ekwir_1.” The patch of the rock from which dust has been brushed away is about 1.85 inches by 2.44 inches (47 millimeters by 62 millimeters). The scale bar at bottom right is 1 centimeter (0.39 inch).

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Close-up of Brushed Area on Martian Rock Target ‘Ekwir_1’

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows details of rock texture and color in an area where the rover’s Dust Removal Tool (DRT) brushed away dust that was on the rock. This rock target, “Ekwir_1” was brushed and this image was recorded on the same Martian day, or sol, Sol 150 of Curiosity’s mission on Mars (Jan. 6, 2013.)

The image, one of the highest resolution images returned so far by MAHLI, was taken from a distance of about 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) from the rock’s surface. Fractures, white veins, pits and tiny dark grains in the rock are visible, as well as remaining clumps and specks of dust. The scale bar at lower left is 2 millimeters (0.08 inches).

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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.