The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA) continues to prepare the new Perseverance rover for sending to the Red Planet. At the same time, the Curiosity rover, which began research activities in August 2012, continues to travel on the surface of Mars. This week, the duration of the Curiosity mission reached 3000 days, in honor of which NASA has published several interesting images taken by the rover during this time.
The above image was taken on June 20, 2018. On it, the rover captured itself during a dust storm that covered Gale Crater, significantly reducing visibility. Curiosity drills slabs to analyze their composition. One of these holes can be seen in the center of the picture if you look closely. This photo was taken with the Mars Hand Lens Imager, which is attached to the arm of the apparatus.
The following image captures Mount Aeolis, also known as Mount Sharpe and the central peak of Gale Crater. Curiosity snapped some photographs of the mountain under morning light on October 13, 2019. Later, NASA specialists created a panoramic image of Aeolis, combining 44 photos together.
Another photo clearly demonstrates how far the rover has advanced over the years. The picture was taken on March 24, 2014, when Curiosity was at the foot of Mount Eolis. The arrow marks the location of the device on July 30, 2020. It turns out that it took the rover a little over six years to cover about 5.5 km.
The stunning panorama of Gale Crater was created in 2018. The amazingly clear sky allowed the rover to “see” at a considerable distance, thanks to which it was possible to create this panorama.
Dune Namib, which is located northwest of Mount Sharp and is an area of dark sand, was captured by the rover on December 13, 2015.
The three-frame animation, based on images of the rover taken on May 17, 2019, captures the movement of clouds. Curiosity studies not only soil and rock samples, it also studies the atmosphere of the Red Planet.
NASA has also released an image showing all 26 holes left from rock drilling. In the upper left corner, it is shown where exactly the rover drilled the rock, as well as where soil samples were taken for analysis.
Curiosity was sent to Mars in November 2011 and successfully landed in Gale Crater on the surface of the Red Planet on August 6, 2012. Since then, he has been conducting research activities, the main task of which is to assess the possibility that life has ever existed on Mars. In total, the rover covered about 23 km, and also drilled the surface of Mars 26 times and examined 6 soil samples.
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