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Curiosity in a Sunset selfie


The beautiful image shows the heavy robotic vehicle that weights a ton at the site “Mojave” on Mars, where it’s drilling and where it has collected the second sample of dust from Mount Sharp.
The Craze of selfie not only invaded the Earth, but also the space. And Mars is no exception. The image you see above is a collage of photos taken in January by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera mounted on the robotic arm of NASA’s Curiosity rover, arrived on the Red Planet in August 2012. The vehicle on six wheels currently is in the site named “Mojave”, where Curiosity has “tasted” (rather analyzed) a sample of Martian dust of Mount Sharp collected during its second drilling.

Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Mojave’ Site on Mount Sharp

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The scene combines dozens of images taken during January 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm.  The pale “Pahrump Hills” outcrop surrounds the rover, and the upper portion of Mount Sharp is visible on the horizon.  Darker ground at upper right and lower left holds ripples of wind-blown sand and dust.
The view does not include the rover’s robotic arm.  Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic’s component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images, or portions of images, that were used in this mosaic.
In the background you can see the hilly outcrop of “Pahrump Hills” and the top of Mount Sharp. On the right you can see a portion of a darker land, while the bottom left the surface of the sand moved by the Martian wind.
Yet it is an unusual selfie, because in the image you can see the robotic arm on which there is the camera. All this was made possible by complex movements of the “joints” and rotations of MAHLI that have allowed us to acquire the shots that make up the mosaic leaving the arm out of the frame or in any portions of images that have not been used. A process that had been previously used by NASA ” photographers” sites “Rocknest”, “John Klein” and “Windjana”.

Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Mojave’ Site on Mount Sharp

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This process was used previously in acquiring and assembling Curiosity self-portraits taken at sample-collection sites “Rocknest” (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16468), “John Klein” (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16937) and “Windjana” (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18390).
Kathryn Stack, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California) NASA, explained: “Compared to other Selfie of Curiosity, this time we added some extra pictures so you can see the full points of the campaign Pahrump Hills” and to understand the points Highlights of the mission in the last five months.
Specifically, the shots of the rover were taken during the Martian day (sol) 868, that is, January 14 (today is the sol 908). The other images of the ground have been added on 29 January and the sample hole January 31. To better understand the size just think that the wheels of Curiosity have a diameter of 50 cm and the holes during the final drilling have a diameter of 1.6 centimeters.

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