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Curiosity Snaps ‘Trophy Pic’ of Itself on Mars

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

On Friday Sept. 7, 2012 (Sol 32) the Mars Science Laboratory rover “Curiosity” turned its camera around and snapped this picture of itself from its landing spot in Gale Crater. The camera fixture is located on Curiosity’s spindly robotic arm. 

Although the public views the segment of the rover in this image as the rover’s “face” it is actually Curiosity’s Remote Sensing Mast.

To take this image, the rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager or “MAHLI.” The position of the image was determined by the configuration of the MAHLI, in this particular case the instruments dust cover was closed (which is why the image is hazy).

The left eye of Curiosity’s Mastcam took this image of the camera on the rover’s arm, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), during the 30th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars. MAHLI is one of the tools on a turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

The “eye” contains the rover’s Mastcam and ChemCam camers. ChemCam is the most powerful laser ever utilized on another world.

Curiosity’s operators were testing out MAHLI as well as other tools located on the instrument turret at the end of the rover’s arm.

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