Since Mars Curiosity Rover’s landing in the Red Planet’s Gale Crater last month, we’ve seen pictures from just about every imaging instrument aboard the robotic geology lab. But today, we’re seeing a different kind of image: a self-portrait of Curiosity snapped by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, the camera fixed to the end of the rover’s seven-foot robotic arm. Everything you snapped on Instagram over the weekend suddenly pales in comparison, no?
After 30 Earth-days on the surface of the red planet, the Mars rover Curiosity has stretched its neck, zapped its first rock and taken its first strolls. More firsts are still to come in the next couple weeks — like scooping, drilling and baking rocks — but the rover is pretty much ready to go, spending the next two years trying to determine if Mars could ever play host to life.
A new image released by NASA this week shows the Mars Rover Curiosity’s view of the red planet in a sweeping 360 degrees. The rover, which is en route toward a location known as Glenelg since last week, has been prodigiously snapping photos with its navigation camera, and mission handlers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory stitched together this panorama that shows both where Curiosity has been and where it is going.