APXS Portrait

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.