NASA's Curiosity rover captures panoramic view of dusty Martian skies

Mindy Sparks
September 12, 2018

This time, it's Mars, brought to your mortal earthling eyes by the space agency's Curiosity rover, a robotic device which has been roaming the surface of the planet since 2012.

The panorama includes umber skies, darkened by a fading global dust storm.

It took 3 attempts for the Curiosity rover on Mars to drill this hole on the Vera Rubin Ridge, but it succeeded on August 9, 2018.

The nuclear-powered Curiosity rover had just drilled for a rock sample before taking the selfie, NASA said. Curiosity started using a new drill method earlier this year to work around a mechanical problem.

An intensive ledge on the ridge became thought to consist of tougher rock, ready to stand despite wind erosion; a effect of dwelling below the ledge became thought extra likely to enjoy softer, erodible rocks. That strategy seems to have panned out, but questions still abound as to why Vera Rubin Ridge exists in the first place.

According to Ashwin, Vasavada fellow of the Curiosity project at the jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA in Pasadena, California, the Rover has never faced so many changes, color and texture. JPL leads the Mars Science Laboratory mission that Curiosity is a part of. "Some seem linked to how laborious the rocks are", he mentioned.

Analysing them might maybe perchance maybe indicate what's acting as "cement" in the ridge, enabling it to stand despite wind erosion. They believe that in the past the ridge washed by the underground water, which played a role in the formation of a solid mineral at the surface.

Vera Rubin Ridge is located in northwestern flank of Mount Sharp and named after pioneering astrophysicist Vera Cooper Rubin who provided evidence for the existence of the universe's dark matter.

Engineers plan to take another two samples of the soil in - perhaps they will confirm the theory. After that, Curiosity will drive to its scientific end zone: areas enriched in clay and sulfate minerals higher up Mt.

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