NASA’s Curiosity Rover shares selfie from Mars that it captured during its ‘steepest’ climb ever

The Curiosity Rover of the US space agency NASA has sent back a selfie from Mars. The car-sized rover dug a hole near a highland area on Mars, called the ‘Greenheugh Pediment’.

In the 360-degree panorama shot received from Curiosity, the said hole, the pediment atop the hill and the rover itself are visible. The picture released to the public has been stitched together by NASA from 86 images sent by the rover.

Curiosity climbed to the ‘Greenheugh Pediment’ after clicking the picture. This was the steepest terrain the Mars rover has climbed so far.

The picture released to the public has been stitched together by NASA from 86 images sent by the rover.Greenheugh Pediment’ Image credit: NASA

It was also one of the steepest slopes that any manmade creation has managed to reach outside the Earth. It took three tries for the rover to climb the slope and it managed the feat on 6 March.

Owing to the specialised wheel system, Curiosity had hardly any chance of flipping over while climbing on steep slopes. The rover can tilt up to 45 degrees safely. While scaling the ‘Greenheugh Pediment’, it tilted as much as 31 degrees.  

In order to capture images, Curiosity is enabled with a Mars Hand Lens Camera or MAHLI. This is located at the tip of its arm. Researchers can rotate the tip and use this camera to capture the condition of Curiosity.

As every image clicked by MAHLI covers only a small area, many images from different angles are required to make up a single complete image of the entire rover and its surroundings.