Curiosity Captures Selfie on Mars Mountain Journey

The self-portrait snapped Aug. 5 shows the rover in the foothills of Mount Sharp high above the Martian plains

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA's Curiosity rover extended its robotic arm for another self-portrait on Mars, this time as it climbed a mountain towering above the red planet's plains.

The selfie snapped Aug. 5 is actually more than 90 component images pieced together for the low-angle shot, providing a view of the rover's belly. The Martian explorer is pictured above the "Buckskin" rock target, where it collected samples from a hole drilled in Mars' surface.

The two patches of white-gray material seen in front of the rover are powdery rock material drilled from the hole. The drill hole can been seen on top of the triangle-shaped patch.

Some of the material was delivered to the rover's onboard laboratory instruments.

Curiosity, which landed on Mars in August 2012, has been turning the camera on itself for several self-portraits during its journey to the site called Marias Pass in the foothills of 3.4-mile high Mount Sharp. The rover remained at Marias Pass for several weeks to study a zone where two different types of rocks meet.

High levels of hydrogen were measured beneath the rover's wheels in the area, meaning water molecules could be present in the area's rocks.

Curiosity is headed southwest up Mount Sharp after completing its mission Aug. 12 at "Buckskin" rock. The project now turns to examining layers of the mountain for ancient inhabitable environments.

The rover, built at Southern California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has logged nearly seven miles since its 2012 landing.
 

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