Mars Exploration Rover Mission Snaps A Selfie

An ongoing robotic space mission of the space agency NASA, the Mars Science Laboratory Project (MSL) involves the robot Curiosity, which propels itself across the surface of the planet. Despite being miles away from Earth, however, it has amazingly joined the mainstream activity of taking a selfie.

NASA’s $2.5 billion Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 2012, and recently released a compilation of images, showcasing the terrain it has been working for the last five months. The images were captured by Mars Hand Lens Imager camera that is attached to the arm of the robot and made for taking selfies of its exploration. The said camera was built by Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego and has a resolution of just 1600 x 1200, or about 2 megapixels.

Despite the low megapixels, however, dozens of images have been taken and woven together to create a mosaic, super selfie. Included in the compilation, are pictures involve the Pahrump Hills site where the robot has been exploring and drilling to learn and explore the Martian environment. A version of the photo taken focuses on the various spots where Curiosity has been conducting its study.

According to the member of the Curiosity team, Kathryn Stack, compared with the earlier Curiosity selfies, extra frames were added so that they could see the rover in the context of the full Pahrump Hills Campaign. She also added that from the Mojave site, they could include every stop they’ve made during the campaign.

Thanks to this Martian explorer’s trip last time to Mount Sharp, people now have a chance to study some of the most interesting geology on the planet’s surface. The rover, for example, used its built up drill to collect a sample of some rock powder from the Mojave site late last month.

Curiosity’s next spot will be at the site called the Telegraph Peak, where NASA continues to plan to have it drill for some new samples that will possibly be analyzed and tested. The data collected will help NASA keep shed further insight about Mars, especially on the topic of new life in the Red Planet.

Check out the selfie here.