Curiosity, a rover that has been operating on Mars since 2012, sent a photo of Mount Sharp in Gale Crater.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a new panoramic picture taken by the rover Curiosity on the 23rd (local time).
The scenery of Mount Sharp spread out in front of the rover. Curiosity has been exploring the area around Mount Sharp, which is about 5 km high, since 2014. On the far right of the photo, you can see the Nafael Navarro mountain. The terrain is named after Mexican scientist Nafael Navarro, who died of complications from COVID-19 earlier this year.
Curiosity always takes 360-degree panoramic photos with its navigation camera after moving locations. In order to understand the surrounding environment where you are currently located. The captured images are compressed to a slightly lower quality for easier transmission to Earth.
The photo that NASA released this time was taken from where Curiosity is currently stopped. The research team discovered a beautiful landscape while checking the photos sent by the rover, and took the picture in the highest resolution that the navigation camera could capture.
The photo was completed by partially modifying the existing black and white image. Black and white images from two different times of the day on Mars were merged. One picture was taken at 8:30 am Hwaseong local time, and the other picture was taken at 4:10 pm local time. After that, colors such as blue, orange, and green were added.
Curiosity, which has spent 3306 sols (one day on Mars) from Mars as of today, is currently active for the ninth year. Despite his considerable ‘old age’, he is in good health with the nuclear power cells mounted on the rover. The design life of Curiosity is 14 years, and it is expected that it will be operational for about 5 more years.
Curiosity’s mission is to find traces of ancient life beyond Earth. In the meantime, the rover has been continuously moving and analyzing the geology and soil of Mars. A rock sample is taken by drilling a hole in the surface with a drill at the tip of the arm. In fact, Curiosity has accomplished the feat of discovering traces of water flow on Mars a long time ago and evidence of methane and organic compounds necessary for life to exist.
Meanwhile, in addition to Curiosity, ‘Insight’, which landed in 2018, and ‘Perseverance’, which arrived at the Yero crater in February, are also continuing their activities on Mars. The small drone ‘Insanity’, which arrived on Mars by hanging on perseverance, is about to make its 16th flight, starting with its historic first powered flight in April.
Reporter Min-ha Yang ([email protected]), Electronic Newspaper Internet