Thursday, August 9, 2012

NavCam captures Curiosity's surroundings

After the deployment of the MastCam on Sol 2, August 8th, 2012 Earth time, JPL scientists swept across the horizon in front of Curiosity using the Navigation Cameras "NavCam" capturing the landscape to the north. In addition, they did a survey of the rover engineering deck.

NASA / JPL / James Sorenson
 This is  20 image mosaic taken on the 1st day after Curiosity landed. You can see that she is in  flat plain surrounded by mountains and the Gale Crater rim. North is down, West is left, East is Right, and South is up. The dark soil seen in the "North" is the same dark band of soil seen on the 1st images received after the rover landed and the "HazCams" deployed. To the left "East" you can see the "foothills" leading up to Mt. Sharp. The mountain line in the West and South is the Gale crater rim. You might also notice the debris of gravel found on the engineering deck of Curiosity, which collected on it from the thrusters that blew them into the air.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/composite by Errol Coder
click image to enlarge
 This first composite is created from using two high-res images taken by the left Left-A NavCam. It faces the north away from Curiosity. You can see a line of mountains in the distance with some very distinct features. This area appears to be relatively flat, with larger pebbles littering the ground. The equipment on the lower left of the image is the top of the stowed Tool Arm which will be used on a  future Sol.

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