NASA’s Curiosity Rover has been on the Red Planet for some time now trying to whiff out substances which are necessary for life or was once available. The car-sized rover has spent nearly 1,228 days on the planet and is presently near the Namib Dune, to the northwest of Mount Sharp – Curiosity’s primary mission site, where it has been scooping and sieving samples of sand. The Curiosity Rover has just taken a panoramic selfie after exploring a dune on Mars.
It is one of the series of 57 images which has been taken by the camera at the end of its arm, also known as Mars Hand Lens Imager Camera (MAHLI).
MAHLI is a brainchild of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. JPL had designed the Curiosity Rover, and MAHLI is operated by the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
The rover has been tasked to unravel the mystery about a group of active sand dunes and how the wind moves and separates the sand particles on the Red Planet.
The Namib Dune is a section of the dark-sand “Bagnold Dune Field” which stretches around the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. It has been revealed by images taken from the orbit of satellites circling Mars that the Bagnold field moves a maximum of one meter per Earth Year.
How Curiosity Rover Clicks Its Selfies:
Scientists are now evaluating the possible sites where the Curiosity Rover could be sent to drill and collect the rock powder to check out if it contained any traces of organic molecules which are necessary for the fructification of life.
After some fruitful investigations around its landing sites, the Rover reached the base of the Sharp Mountain in 2014.