Image: NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views rover climbing Mount Sharp

June 21, 2017
The feature that appears bright blue at the center of this scene is NASA's Curiosity Mars rover amid tan rocks and dark sand on Mount Sharp, as viewed by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 5, 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Using the most powerful telescope ever sent to Mars, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught a view of the Curiosity rover this month amid rocky mountainside terrain.

The car-size rover, climbing up lower Mount Sharp toward its next destination, appears as a blue dab against a background of tan rocks and dark sand in the enhanced-color image from the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The exaggerated color, showing differences in Mars surface materials, makes Curiosity appear bluer than it really looks.

The image was taken on June 5, 2017, two months before the fifth anniversary of Curiosity's landing near Mount Sharp on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6, 2017, EDT and Universal Time).

When the image was taken, Curiosity was partway between its investigation of active sand dunes lower on Mount Sharp, and "Vera Rubin Ridge," a destination uphill where the rover team intends to examine outcrops where hematite has been identified from Mars orbit.

The rover's location that day is shown at https://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/2017/curiositys-traverse-map-through-sol-1717 as the point labeled 1717. Images taken that day by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) are at https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=1717&=MAST%5F .

Explore further: Image: Curiosity trek through 'Pahrump Hills' spotted by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

More information: For more information about NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit mars.nasa.gov/mro/
For more information about NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project and Curiosity, visit mars.nasa.gov/msl/

Related Stories

Mars orbiter images rover and tracks in Gale Crater

January 9, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and its recent tracks from driving in Gale Crater appear in an image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ...

Mars Rover Curiosity reaches sand dunes

December 11, 2015

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has begun an up-close investigation of dark sand dunes up to two stories tall. The dunes are on the rover's trek up the lower portion of a layered Martian mountain.

Mars rover Curiosity views spectacular layered rock formations

September 10, 2016

The layered geologic past of Mars is revealed in stunning detail in new color images returned by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, which is currently exploring the "Murray Buttes" region of lower Mount Sharp. The new images arguably ...

Recommended for you

Dawn mission extended at Ceres

October 20, 2017

NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

EnsignFlandry
not rated yet Jun 25, 2017
This little rover is a marvel of science and engineering. An AI directed rover may be able to detect signs of past or present life. I hope Curiosity is preserved in some Martian museum.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.