Curiosity rover takes first self-portrait and other amazing new images

First “self-portrait” image of Curiosity, showing its “head” (the Mastcam) taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager camera (MAHLI) on the robotic arm. The camera lens dust cover was still in place for this test photo, hence the murkiness of the image. Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems

Curiosity continues its exploration of Gale crater, taking progressively longer drives away from its landing site, and returning stunning images back to Earth as it does so. The rover is making its way toward its first major science stop, Glenelg, which is about 400 metres away and closer to the foothills of Mount Sharp and is a spot where three different types of geological terrain meet together.

In the meantime, Curiosity took the first “self-portrait” photo of its “head” (the Mastcam), using the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the robotic arm. For testing purposes, this one was taken with the dust cover still on the camera lens, but later images without it should be incredible. Other images have also been taken of the rover itself, showing the extended robotic arm and other instruments in exquisite detail.

From orbit, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has also just taken new high-resolution photos of the rover on the ground including the tracks it is leaving behind!

The images included here kind of speak for themselves…

Panoramic image from sol 29 (September 4, 2012) showing the tracks left behind Curiosity. Click for larger version.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems / Damien Bouic
Curiosity’s extended robotic arm. Click for larger version.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems / Damien Bouic
Instruments at the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm. The foothills of Mount Sharp are in the background.
Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems
Orbital image taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the Curiosity rover on the ground and its tracks behind it leading away from the landing site. Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona
Map showing Curiosity’s progress as of sol 29 (September 4, 2012) and the first major science destination, Glenelg.
Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona