Curiosity takes spectacular selfie before mission’s third-ever drilling on Mars

If the robot takes a selfie, who is taking the robots photo taking the selfie?  Is a rendering…  This kind of news is to keep “relevant” the rover mission; seriously?

Next, the rover will conduct its third-ever drilling into a rock on Mars to collect a sample for analysis.

By Max Sonnenberg, The Space Reporter
Thursday, May 01, 2014

Curiosity’s latest “selfie” (see below) is the work of Universe Today’s Jason Major, who edited several images taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager to create a spectacular mosaic featuring both Curiosity and the 3.5-mile-high Mount Sharp.

“Putting this together wasn’t an exact science, so there are plenty of discrepancies where the separate images line up,” Major writes for his “Lights in the Dark” blog. “But that’s okay — the overall effect came out pretty nicely and I’m happy with it.”

Curiosity’s next project is the mission’s third drilling.

Over the weekend, the rover utilized several tools to assess the candidate site, including the Dust Removal Tool. The rock has been given the informal name “Windjana,” after a gorge in Western Australia.

Curiosity’s drill will collect powdered sample material from the interior of Windjana, and then the rover will prepare and deliver portions of the sample to onboard laboratory instruments. The first two Red Planet rocks drilled revealed evidence of an ancient lakebed environment with key chemical elements and a chemical energy source that offered conditions billions of years ago favorable for microbial life.



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