Curiosity rover shares spectacular selfie at Namib Dune

NASA’s Curiosity shared a spectacular new selfie that combines 57 images, showing the rover on the edge of Namib Dune. The location in question is at the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp, and is currently being investigated to see how “active” the dune is.

Curiosity has been at this location for the past few months, observing how wind moves and sorts sand particles on the Martian planet. If there is movement, Curiosity’s instruments will be able to detect the strength and direction.

Since settling down to camp, Curiosity has collected three different samples, though the third sample couldn’t be processed properly because of an instrument failure. Right now, NASA engineers are running diagnostics to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Analysis from the other two samples is still ongoing.

Next up on Curiosity’s agenda is to drill to collect rock-powder samples, though NASA hasn’t decided on a site just yet. All of the rover’s efforts are an attempt to better understand how Mars went from a planet that contained surface water to the dry landscape it is today.

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