This stunning self-portrait of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). The rover’s robotic arm is not visible in the mosaic. Image © NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
The rover is positioned at a patch of flat outcrop called “John Klein,” which was selected as the site for the first rock-drilling activities by Curiosity. The self-portrait was acquired to document the drilling site, during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Feb. 3, 2013).
MAHLI, which took the component images for this mosaic, is mounted on a turret at the end of the arm. Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic’s component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images or portions of images used in the mosaic.
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, developed, built and operates MAHLI. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the mission’s Curiosity rover for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.