Curiosity Spacecraft: Images of NASA's Rover on Mars

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2012-09-18
 
 
 

APXS Portrait

This image shows the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the rover, which helped NASA scientists confirm the instrument had not become caked with dust during Curiosity's dusty landing.

APXS Portrait

SAM Is Closed

The inlet covers (upper right) for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument are opened and closed as the rover continues to check out its instruments in the first phase after landing.

SAM Is Closed

New Mexico on Mars

A sample of basaltic rock from a lava flow in New Mexico serves as a calibration target carried on the front of Curiosity for the APXS instrument.

New Mexico on Mars

Wheels Keep Turning

The three left wheels of Curiosity combine two images that were taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 34th Martian day.

Wheels Keep Turning

Martian Lincoln

Martian sand grains have settled on the penny that serves as a calibration target for the rover. Geologists classify the small grains as fine sand and very fine sand.

Martian Lincoln

Underbelly

This view of the lower front and underbelly areas of Curiosity show the front hazard-avoidance cameras, which appear as a set of four blue eyes at the top center of the portrait.

Underbelly

Self Portrait

Curiosity sends back its Facebook profile photo with this self-portrait, using a camera located on its arm to obtain the vanity pic. He's not quite Wall-E, but good enough for government work.

Self Portrait

Robot Arms

This engineering drawing shows the location of the arm on Curiosity, which has five degrees of freedom of movement, thanks to rotary actuators known as the shoulder azimuth joint, shoulder elevation joint, elbow joint, wrist joint and turret joint.

Robot Arms

Ordering Organic

Curiosity carries five cylindrical blocks of organic check material for use in a control experiment if the rover's SAM laboratory detects any organic compounds in samples of Martian soil or powdered rock.

Ordering Organic

Calibration Target

This view of the calibration target for the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard Curiosity shows the penny, a nod to geologists' tradition of placing a coin or other object of known scale as a size reference in close-up photographs of rocks.

Calibration Target

Rocket Fuel