NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Takes Last Selfie On Vera Rubin Ridge Before Plunge Toward Mount Sharp

By  //  January 30, 2019

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Curiosity explored the ridge since September of 2017

A selfie taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on Sol 2291 (January 15) at the “Rock Hall” drill site, located on Vera Rubin Ridge.

(NASA) – NASA’s Curiosity rover has taken its last selfie on Vera Rubin Ridge and descended toward a clay region of Mount Sharp.

The twisting ridge on Mars has been the rover’s home for more than a year, providing scientists with new samples — and new questions — to puzzle over.

On Dec. 15, Curiosity drilled its 19th sample at a location on the ridge called Rock Hall. On Jan. 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 this selfie.

The “Rock Hall” drill hole is visible to the lower left of the rover; the scene is dustier than usual at this time of year due to a regional dust storm.

Curiosity has been exploring the ridge since September of 2017. It’s now headed into the “clay-bearing unit,” which sits in a trough just south of the ridge.

Clay minerals in this unit may hold more clues about the ancient lakes that helped form the lower levels on Mount Sharp.

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