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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover leaves Vera Rubin Ridge for Clay area of Mount Sharp

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – 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 December 15th, Curiosity drilled its 19th sample at a location on the ridge called Rock Hall. On January 15th, 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.

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/JPL-Caltech)

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/JPL-Caltech)

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.

For more information about NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, visit:

https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/


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