WASHINGTON: NASA’s Curiosity rover has taken its last selfie on the twisting ridge on Mars that has been the robotic explorer’s home for more than a year, the US space agency said. After having collected new samples from the Vera Rubin Ridge, the car-sized rover will now descend toward a clay region of Mount Sharp.
On December 15 last year, Curiosity drilled its 19th sample at a location on the ridge called Rock Hall. On January 15, the spacecraft used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the end of its robotic arm to take a series of 57 pictures, which were stitched together into a selfie.
The “Rock Hall” drill hole is visible to the lower left of the rover in the image. The scene is dustier than usual at this time of year due to a regional dust storm, NASA said. Curiosity has been exploring the ridge since September of 2017. It is now headed into the “clay-bearing unit,” which sits in a trough just south of the ridge.