Mars Curiosity rover's progress to date captured in dramatic photo

July 24, 2013 at 7:25 PM
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PASADENA, Calif., July 24 (UPI) -- NASA says an image from its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter released Wednesday shows the Curiosity rover and the wheel tracks it's made in the first half of 2013.

The orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera captured evidence of the rover's journey from its landing site to the "Glenelg" area where the rover worked for the first half of this year, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said.

The HiRISE camera captured the scene on June 27, as the rover was examining an outcrop called "Shaler," its final science target in the Glenelg area before commencing a many-month trek southwestward to an entry point for the lower layers of Mount Sharp.

The rover appears as a bright blue spot in the lower right of the color-enhanced image, clearly visible at the end of its track marks across the martian surface, JPL said.

Also visible in the image are two bright, relatively blue spots surrounded by darker patches where the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft's landing jets cleared away reddish surface dust at the landing site.

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