Curiosity rover on Mars spotted from space as it climbs ‘Mont Mercou’ (video)

We now have a fowl’s eye view of the Curiosity rover and its newest Martian digs.NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured a dramatic picture final month of Curiosity ascending Mont Mercou, a landform on the slopes of the Red Planet’s 3.4-mile-high (5.5 kilometers) Mount Sharp.MRO took the image on April 18 utilizing its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument, which might resolve options as small as a espresso desk on the Martian floor. So the car-sized Curiosity is plainly seen, though MRO was flying 167.5 miles (269.Four kilometers) above the rover on the time, based on the HiRISE workforce’s picture description.Related: Amazing Mars images by NASA’s Curiosity roverThe HiRISE digital camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this photograph of the Curiosity rover ascending Mont Mercou on April 18, 2021. (Image credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona)Curiosity landed contained in the 96-mile-wide (154 km) Gale Crater in August 2012, on a mission to find out if the realm might ever have supported microbial life. The reply to this query is sure; the six-wheeled robotic’s observations have proven that Gale hosted a probably liveable lake-and-stream system for lengthy stretches within the historical previous.In September 2014, Curiosity reached the foothills of Mount Sharp, which rises excessive into the Martian sky from Gale’s middle. The rover has been climbing the mountain ever since, inspecting the layered rock deposits for clues about Mars’ long-ago transition from a comparatively heat and moist world to the chilly desert planet that it is as we speak. Observations by MRO and different orbiters present that this transition is recorded within the rock, as a shift from clay-bearing materials to layers with a number of salty sulfates. The hills simply past Mont Mercou are wealthy in sulfates, “so that is where we’re headed,” Curiosity deputy undertaking scientist Abigail Fraeman, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, stated in a video replace posted on Thursday (May 20).This is way from the primary time that MRO has spied Curiosity. The sharp-eyed HiRISE has picked out the rover a number of instances, even snapping a tremendous shot of the robotic parachuting to the Martian floor throughout its August 2012 touchdown.  Curiosity is not the one robotic presently lively on Mars. NASA’s InSight lander has been monitoring the Red Planet’s seismic surroundings since November 2018, for instance, and the company’s Perseverance rover and tiny Ingenuity helicopter touched down on Feb. 18. Ingenuity is gearing up for its sixth Martian flight, and Perseverance is now starting to sink its tooth into its personal life-hunting, sample-collecting mission, after serving to help and doc the chopper’s first 5 aerial forays.And Mars simply acquired its first Chinese robotic — the Zhurong rover, which touched down May 14 on the huge Red Planet plain Utopia Planitia.Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book in regards to the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. 

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