Posted in: Discoveries

NASA Snaps Mars Rover Curiosity Self Portrait

Mars rover self portrait

NASA has snapped its most incredible self-portrait yet of the Curiosity rover on Mars, showing the unit posing with its destination, a Martian mountain.

The new view of Curiosity on Mars is actually a mosaic of dozens of high-definition color photos snapped by the rover between October 31 and November 1. The image shows Curiosity surrounded by its own tracks, with the 3-mile-high Mount Sharp in the distance, according to Space.com.

NASA featured the mosaic portrait as its image of the day December 27 after releasing the photo earlier this month.

Curiosity used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), a powerful camera mounted at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Curiosity turned the camera on itself much like a human tourist might when traveling alone, or most people on Facebook or MySpace, snapping a series of photos that rover technicians then stitched together into a high-definition composite.

The rover moved its robotic arm through more than 50 positions in one day to capture its full car-size body on camera.

Mars rover panoramic

NASA scientists used a test version of Curiosity on Earth to practice the photo session. Too bad we can’t get Michael Bay to update the footage from the first Transformers movie, but that’s roving on to a different subject.

The Mars rover is headed toward a spot near the base of Mount Sharp called Glenelg to perform continuous experiments along the way. The $2.5 billion machine’s primary mission is to determine if its Gale crater landing site could have ever supported primitive microbial life, says Yahoo News.

We have suspected that we aren’t the only life in the universe, and we are determined to prove it.

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