Curiosity rover drives on after crossing Martian dune

February 12, 2014
The series of nine images making up this animation were taken by the rear Hazard-Avoidance Camera (rear Hazcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover as the rover drove over a dune spanning "Dingo Gap" on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (Click "Enlarge" for animation)

(Phys.org) —NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is continuing its traverse toward enticing science destinations after climbing over a dune spanning a gap in a ridge.

The rover covered 135 feet (41.1 meters) on Feb. 9, in its first drive since the 23-foot (7-meter) crossing of the on Feb. 6. That put Curiosity's total odometry since its August 2012 landing at 3.09 miles (4.97 kilometers).

An animated sequence of images from the low-slung Hazard-Avoidance Camera on the rear of the vehicle documents the up-then-down crossing of the dune.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian environmental conditions. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, built the rover and manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on its mast to catch this look-back eastward at wheel tracks from driving through and past "Dingo Gap" inside Gale Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Explore further: Curiosity Mars rover passes kilometer of driving

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