NASA’s famous Curiosity Mars rover has provided us with spectacular images: a panorama of the Gale crater. After over five years of service, this little robot continues to amaze us.
The Gale crater is a crater measuring 155km in diameter, which was created by an asteroid around 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. It is at the heart of this “bowl” that the Curiosity rover slowly moves around, closely monitored by scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory (JPL).
The Mastcam, the camera installed on the rover, captured an amazing panorama made up of 16 images, after having reached the Vera Rubin Ridge plateau. Assembled by JPL scientists, these images offer a view of the austere yet familiar looking Martian lands and horizon.
The images making up the panorama were captured on the 25th October 2017, during the robot’s 1,856th Martian day (or ‘sol’) on Mars. It is worth noting that Curiosity just celebrated its birthday: its 2,000th day on Mars! In fact, on the 26th January 2018, it had spent exactly 2,000 days on the red planet, or 5 years, 5 months and 21 days, or 1947 Martian days/sols. An incredible achievement, when we consider that the project was only supposed to last 687 days -or 688 sols -which is just under two years.