The Curiosity Rover touched the surface of the Red Planet in August in 2012. This rover is about the size of a car was set out to explore the crater named “Gale” on Mars which was a part of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory Mission). Since its launch in the year 2011, the rover has accomplished a lot in the exploration of Mars’s crater, and now it has provided a series of panorama for the same. The rover has successfully captured numerous geological features in the term of five years.
The rover took 16 shots from various angles on the eve of October 25th in the year 2017 near the Northern periphery of the Red Planet during the winter solstice while the weather was all nice and clear. A clear atmosphere helped the rover gain pictures of the floor of the Gale Crater. The pictures extend all across the mountains which make up the rim. The pictures also provide the view of a hill about 85km away from the crater.
The photos obtained by the rover were taken from a Ridge named “Vera Rubin.” This ridge has been named to honor the “Mother of Dark Matter” post her death. To reach this ridge, the rover had to scale an elevated distance of about 1,073 feet which provides a great sight of the crater for a perfect capture.
As of now, the rover has traveled about 11 miles. The rover has been climbing the ridge for about five years now, and for the very first time, the scientists can see the whole mission through a single panorama cumulated from 16 pictures.
A Curiosity Project Scientist, Ashwin Vasavada stated that the pictures obtained recently laid out a great view of the plains located close to the crater along with a spectacular view of the mountains that make up the Gale Crater’s northern rim.
NASA has released a well-marked picture illustrating the pathway taken by the rover along with all the features captured in the view. The highlighted features include the Yellowknife Bay. This is where the Curiosity Rover had its very first mission to drill the surface in the year 2013. The picture also contains the ‘Namib Dune’ which is where the rover obtained a good view of the strange ripples in the sand which were speculated to be a result of the thin atmosphere at Mars as well as the Martian winds.
The picture also captured the ‘Murray Buttes’ where the rover took some exquisite pictures of rocky formations present in the area. The rover then started ascending upwards in Mount Sharp which is where it started providing evidence for the fact that the Gale Crater once housed a gigantic lake in its periphery.
After sending out the panoramic view back to Earth, the rover has climbed more than 85 feet heading towards the next destination which is Clay Unit.