Curiosity Rover Takes an Incredible Self-Portrait

Wow, what a view of the Curiosity rover! This is a self-portrait mosaic made from brand new images taken by the MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager), the high-resolution camera located on the turret at the end of MSL’s robotic arm. The arm was moved for each of the 55 images in this mosaic, so the arm doesn’t show up in the mosaic. This montage was put together by Stuart Atkinson, and he notes that these images are just the low-res thumbnail images that have just been sent to Earth. “Imagine what the hi-res version will look like!!” Stu said.

We can’t wait. Here’s looking at you, Curiosity!

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Stuart Atkinson

10 Replies to “Curiosity Rover Takes an Incredible Self-Portrait”

  1. Cool image Stuart! Thanks! Everything from the Curiosity rover rocks MY world! or will soon enough!

  2. Wow, that is a great collage! I can’t wait to see the high resolution version.

    I wonder when it will be an astronaut taking that picture instead of the rover’s arm. What do you think? And who will it be that sends them there? It will be fun to watch and see.

    Adam Brinckerhoff
    Development Engineer

    1. This brings a bit of a question. I don’t see an arm attached to the rover that goes off to one side of this image.


      1. An ‘armless enough question, Nancy’s article reads: “The arm was moved for each of the 55 images in this mosaic, so the arm doesn’t show up in the mosaic.”

      2. Heh.. I find it a little funny that they send the rover abt 80million km away and then it takes photo’s of itself..
        Perhaps they wanted to use a little of the rovers idle time checking out the hardware.

  3. Cute, to be sure, but it begs a question: shouldn’t there be more ambition in this mission than there is? Perhaps I was wrong to see this as a prospecting mission leading to missions more focused on construction, scavenging, mining with the aim of establishiing a (initally robotic) mars base. Focusing on geology only and cutesy self-portaits are, for me, a bit of a letdown.

    1. Images like this are used to assess things like dust accumulation, and gives the scientists and engineers a chance to see if anything is amiss.

    2. Curiosity is indeed an ambitious mission, as it was the last mission to study habitability and geology in preparation for sample return. I think you can read up on that on Wikipedia or NASA.

      Now sample return is pushed into the next decade at best. But Curiosity is fulfilling its ambitious goals in spades. It has already established that the Gale crater sediments span the period where Mars went from wet to dry. I was initially concerned that the power source would be damaged during transit and landing (quality problems), but no more.

      Presumably the central mound deposits can unravel the basic geology of that period. And if we are lucky we can see habitability and perhaps even if Mars was inhabited early on.

      As for mining, other missions have been tasked with looking at resource (power and rover fuel, rocket fuel) extraction from atmosphere and soils in preparation for extended robotic and/or sample return missions as well as manned missions. They seem to be pushed into the future as well.

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