Curiosity Rover shoots a self-portrait

Dec 12, 2012
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Curiosity Rover shoots a self-portrait

The Rover Curiosity has been on the surface of Mars for several months now. NASA recently released a photograph that the Curiosity Rover took of itself on October 31 and November 1 of this year. Those days were the 84th and 85th Martian days for the Curiosity mission.

The photograph, which you see above, was taken by the Curiosity Rover using the robotic arm and Mars Hand Lens Imager camera. The self-portrait required some serious choreography as the robotic arm had to move through more than 50 positions in one day to generate a single scene to combine all the images. Judging by some of the odd black lines, the choreography wasn't perfect.

We end up with what appears to be an image of the Curiosity Rover taken by someone standing beside and above the Rover slightly. Along with the self-portrait, NASA also released an animation video showing how the image was taken. NASA practiced the movements of the robot arm on earth first using the Vehicle System Test Bed Rover at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

All the individual images were combined to make a self-portrait. You may have noticed that the robotic arm itself isn't visible in the final image. The reason for the missing robotic arm is because images or portions of images used in the mosaic were chosen with the arm positioned out of the shot. Some images taken show parts of the arm, but alternative images were chosen to cover up the arm.


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