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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures images of Mars Curiosity Rover’s Tracks in Gale Crater

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – 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 on December 11th, 2013.

The tracks show where the rover has zigzagged around obstacles on its route toward the lower slopes of Mount Sharp, its next major destination.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and tracks left by its driving appear in this portion of a Dec. 11, 2013, observation by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover and tracks left by its driving appear in this portion of a Dec. 11, 2013, observation by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

HiRISE first imaged the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft while it was descending on a parachute to place Curiosity on Mars 17 months ago.

Since then, it has provided updated views of the rover’s traverse, as seen from orbit.

Excerpts from the large HiRISE observation are at:

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17755, showing the rover, and http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17754, showing tracks across a landscape in enhanced color.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, CO. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project and Mars Science Laboratory project are managed for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about HiRISE, see http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu . For more information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mro .

For more information about Opportunity, visit http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov .


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