NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has used the camera at the end of its arm to take dozens of component images combined into a self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called “Windjana.” The camera is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), which previously recorded portraits of Curiosity at two other important sites during the mission: “Rock Nest” and “John Klein.”
Winjana is within a science waypoint site called “The Kimberley,” where sandstone layers with different degrees of resistance to wind erosion are exposed close together.
The view does not include the rover’s arm. It does include the hole in Windjana produced by the hammering drill on Curiosity’s arm collecting a sample of rock powder from the interior of the rock. The hole is surrounded by grayish cuttings on top of the rock ledge to the left of the rover. The Mast Camera (Mastcam) atop the rover’s remote sensing mast is pointed at the drill hole. The rover’s wheels are 20 inches in diameter.
Most of the component frames of this mosaic view were taken during the 613th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (April 27, 2014). Frames showing Windjana after completion of the drilling were taken on Sol 627 (May 12, 2014). The hole was drilled on Sol 621 (May 5, 2014).
MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover. The Mars Science Laboratory, as Curiosity is formally known, was fully integrated and tested in the High Bay 1 cleanroom at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Spacecraft Assembly Facility is a Class 10,000 ISO 7 cleanroom with horizontal airflow and return.
Release Date: June 26, 2014