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Old 26-10-2019, 01:39 PM
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Cool Curiosity Rover's latest breathtaking "selfie" shows it doing chemistry on Mars

A press release today by NASA/JPL includes a breathtaking "selfie" by Curiosity Rover.

Originally Posted by JPL/NASA
A new selfie taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is breathtaking, but it's especially meaningful for the mission's team: Stitched together from 57 individual images taken by a camera on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm, the panorama also commemorates only the second time the rover has performed a special chemistry experiment.

The selfie was taken on Oct. 11, 2019 (Sol 2,553) in a location named "Glen Etive" (pronounced "glen EH-tiv"), which is part of the "clay-bearing unit," a region the team has eagerly awaited reaching since before Curiosity launched. Visible in the left foreground are two holes Curiosity drilled named "Glen Etive 1" (right) and "Glen Etive 2" (left) by the science team. The rover can analyze the chemical composition of rock samples by powderizing them with the drill, then dropping the samples into a portable lab in its belly called Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM).

About 984 feet (300 meters) behind the rover is Vera Rubin Ridge, which Curiosity departed nearly a year ago. Beyond the ridge, you can see the floor of Gale Crater and the crater's northern rim. Curiosity has been ascending Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain inside the crater.

The special chemistry experiment occurred on Sept. 24, 2019, after the rover placed the powderized sample from Glen Etive 2 into SAM. The portable lab contains 74 small cups used for testing samples. Most of the cups function as miniature ovens that heat the samples; SAM then "sniffs" the gases that bake off, looking for chemicals that hold clues about the Martian environment billions of years ago, when the planet was friendlier to microbial life.

But nine of SAM's 74 cups are filled with solvents the rover can use for special "wet chemistry" experiments. These chemicals make it easier for SAM to detect certain carbon-based molecules important to the formation of life, called organic compounds.
Full press release, photos here :-

Full screen image :-
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:27 PM
Dazzled by the Cosmos.

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Thanks Gary, interesting news and a very good selfie for an autonomous lander, so far away.

Although when we were driving through the stunning Glencoe Pass and took the Glen Etive Road, the scenery was a wee bit different.


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Old 28-10-2019, 09:09 PM
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RobF (Rob)
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I was hoping for a moment might be possible to spot Matt Damon in the background, but alas
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Old 28-10-2019, 09:27 PM
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Sunfish (Ray)
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Yep very cool. Cooking up beakers of stuff for sniffing remotely on Mars. With images. Not sure about the similes in the copy but cool none the less. The bone particles of long dead Martian crack heads maybe.
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Old 13-01-2021, 05:54 PM
cannon_gray (Cannon Gray)

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Curiosity rover celebrates 3,000 days on Mars with extreme panorama. Curiosity is currently heading toward a region of the crater known as the "sulfate-bearing unit." Long-lived Curiosity will continue to pursue its mission to study the ancient environmental conditions on the red planet when Perseverance rover arrives in February.
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