NASA's Curiosity Rover Takes The Selfie Craze To Mars
NASA's Curiosity Rover may have been preparing for its third drilling on the surface of Mars this week, but that didn't stop it from letting loose and snapping a quick 'selfie' in the process. The shot was taken as the rover parked up in the 'Kimberley' region, and features the 5km high 'Mount Sharp' off to the right, wit the left side of the image dominated by the rover's cheeky mug.
Curiosity has been working its way to Mount Sharp since it landed on Mars back in August 2012. For now though, Curiosity is focused on the drilling of rock samples which the roving laboratory will analyze before sending the results back to Curiosity HQ at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It' is hoped that the results of these tests will help unravel the mystery of how the Red Planet lost its water supply, which is thought by many to have once been quite plentiful.
While many 'selfies' consist of irritating duck faces and publicity-hungry celebrities, the ones taken by Curiosity actually serve an incredibly practical purpose.
"Self Portraits like this one document the state of the rover and allow mission engineers to track changes over time, such as dust accumulation and wheel wear." say NASA.
If only everyone had such a legitimate excuse for indulging in the 'selfie' craze!
This latest selfie caps off a pretty busy photographic week for the intrepid rover. Yesterday, NASA released this stunning image of the miniature moon, Phobos, while earlier on in the week, Estonian panorama expert unveiled a beautiful interactive 360 panorama of Curiosity's latest location.