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Wheels and a Destination

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 12:34pm

Wheels and a Destination

three left wheels of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity

click to enlarge

Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
This view of the three left wheels of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines two images that were taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 34th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (September 9, 2012). In the distance is the lower slope of Mount Sharp.

The camera is located in the turret of tools at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The Sol 34 imaging by MAHLI was part of a week-long set of activities for characterizing the movement of the arm in Mars conditions.

The main purpose of Curiosity's MAHLI camera is to acquire close-up, high-resolution views of rocks and soil at the rover's Gale Crater field site. The camera is capable of focusing on any target at distances of about 0.8 inch (2.1 centimeters) to infinity, providing versatility for other uses, such as views of the rover itself from different angles.

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