NASA Mars Curiosity rover took a selfie on the Red Planet from a location called “Mary Anning,” named after the British explorer. The rover has been there since July this year, taking and analyzing drill samples.
The selfie was created by combining 57 separate images taken on October 25, 2020, using the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), a special robotic arm camera.
The image shows that more than 8 years spent on the surface of Mars have left its mark on Curiosity: its wheels and other hull elements are noticeably worn out and covered with Martian dust. However, this does not prevent the rover from continuing its mission, sending priceless photographs and other scientific data to Earth.
NASA Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012 to determine whether the Red Planet is or was suitable for life as well as find out more about the planet. In March 2018, Curiosity celebrated 2,000 Mars days on the planet, making its way from Gale Crater to Aeolis Mons.
Its four main goals are to determine whether there was once life on Mars, to characterize its geology and climate, and to prepare for human exploration.
Very soon, Curiosity will be joined by the Perseverance rover, launched by NASA in July 2020. It is expected to reach the surface of Mars in February 2021.