Curiosity Rover Takes a Selfie

Commemorating one Martian year on the planet

It took dozens of images for Curiosity to put together this composite selfie. At the same time, the rover drilled into a sandstone area called Windjana; you can see where the drilling occurred in some photos.     Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Curiosity rover has been puttering around Mars for 687 Earth days—that's one Martian year. In a nod to its celebrity status on Earth and our love of gratuitous photography, the rover celebrated by taking a selfie.

It's probably the best selfie that exists this side of the Milky Way, and it definitely took the most effort. Curiosity stitched together multiple shots taken by stretching out its robotic arm and firing away.

Let's not let this distract us from the very impressive things Curiosity has already accomplished on Mars: namely, meeting NASA's main goal of understanding whether Mars has ever been habitable. In its explorations, Curiosity drilled into what used to be a lake bed—definitely a habitable environment for microbial life at the very least.

Now it's back to work for our robotic hero. NASA released a video today outlining what Curiosity has accomplished so far and what's next. The highlight for the coming year is a very long drive westward to the base of Mount Sharp. Curiosity will study the layered rocks there, which researchers think have captured major climate changes in Mars history.

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