After scaling the canyons, dunes, and volcanoes of the Red Planet, the Curiosity Rover has managed to initiate the mission it was sent for. The rover sent a series of panoramic pictures of the Gale Crater and the surrounding landmarks. The rover took a total of 16 pictures that were compiled by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and made public to be seen by space enthusiasts.
The rover took these series of pictures while standing atop the Vera Rubin Ridge from where the viewers can see the image of a small structure named Mount Sharp. As of now, the rover has spent more than five years on its main mission to observe the Gale Crater and locate evidence for the presence of an ancient lake on the same. The series of mosaic images were taken on the eve of January 23rd in 2018 with the help of MAHLI (Mars Hands Lens Imager) while the Curiosity rover’s arms can’t be seen in the picture suggests that it was a selfie shot.
NASA also shared a similar view of the Martian mountainside which was captured by Curiosity about three months ago with the Mast Camera. The journey of studying the Gale Crater by Curiosity started in the year 2012 when it landed on the Red Planet. Viewers can easily see the trail covered by the rover in the pictures that cumulate a distance of about 11 miles. This distance was covered in the entirety of Curiosity’s time on Mars.
Curiosity Rover has been slowly climbing the heights of Mars to get a better view laid out for the study of the mission. However, this picture provides a graphic insight into the five-year-long journey of the rover with all the big and small landmarks pointed out by the NASA scientists in the picture. The picture compiles the vast expanse that can be seen from the Vera Rubin Ridge including the endless plains that stretch close to the crater along with a chain of mountains that form the northern section of the Gale.
In the picture, viewers can easily see major landmarks such as Yellowknife Bay, Bagnold Dunes, Bradbury Landing, Darwin, Cooperstown, Twin craters as well as Crater rim high point. As of now, the rover has managed to cover about 1,100 feet and continues to explore the planet further.
The curiosity rover houses spectacular cameras that can capture pictures that are way smaller than the width of the human hair up to 12.5 microns. However, Curiosity isn’t the only one present on the Red Planet. It is accompanied by other 2 rovers named Opportunity and Spirit. Opportunity Rover has been scaling the planet since the year 2004, while Spirit ended its journey in the year 2010.