Mars rover Curiosity sends a selfie back to NASA
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Mars rover Curiosity sends a selfie back to NASA

Curiosity rover at Vera Rubin Ridge on Mars.

Curiosity rover at Vera Rubin Ridge on Mars.Credit:AP

Cape Canaveral: NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has snapped a dusty but cool selfie.

A thin layer of dust is visible on Curiosity, and is the the result of a storm that enveloped Mars over winter. The darkish sky indicates dust still clogging the atmosphere in August, when the panorama was shot by Curiosity's mast camera. The rover had just drilled for a new rock sample.

Curiosity is nuclear-powered and therefore unaffected by the lack of sunlight. NASA's older rover, Opportunity, however, relies on solar power and has been silent since June.

Flight controllers hope as the Martian sky continues to clear, Opportunity will get back in contact. But after almost 15 years exploring the red planet, Opportunity may not have the strength or ability for a comeback.

AP