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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 28 February 2021

Cheese! Mars Curiosity rover sends back its first high-resolution self-portrait

Curiosity has used its ‘hand lens imager’ to take 55 photos of itself – and stitch them into one single giant image.

"It's a bit dusty. Wish you were here."
Image: NASA


Taking a journey on your own, over 560 million kilometres, isn’t exactly a very jovial experience – but at least the Curiosity rover seems to be having a good time, if these holiday snaps are anything to go by.

This is the first high-resolution photograph sent back by NASA’s $2 billion craft – stitched together from 55 smaller photographs taken from its robotic arm.

The 42 megapixel image (available in its full size here) shows the rover at ‘Rocknest’ – the spot on the planet where it did its first scoop sampling – and was taken by one of the craft’s 17 cameras.

The MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) camera used to take these snaps is the only one which is able to photograph the entire rover.

The snap isn’t just a holiday postcard, though – engineers are using the self-portraits to analyse the level of dust being built up on Curiosity’s moving parts, and taking a closer look at its wheels to see how well they’re holding up on the Martian terrain.

Behold! Mankind’s first high-resolution photo from another planet

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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