Curiosity's Roving Progress Spied from Mars Orbit
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity appears as a bluish dot near the lower right corner of this enhanced-color view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Click to enlarge.NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Ariz.
On June 27, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) crossed the skies over Gale Crater and used its High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera to capture a stunning bird's eye view of its wheeled robotic cousin.
Curiosity, which landed inside Gale on Aug. 5, 2012, was exploring a geologically-interesting region called "Glenelg" on sol 317 of its mission when the MRO zoomed overhead.
Glenelg is located to the west of "Bradbury Landing" where the rover landed -- the mission's rocket blast zone can be easily spotted as a blue/grey fanned feature to the far left of the image. Curiosity's meandering wheel track marks are easily resolved through HiRISE's lens.
Curiosity has now left Glenelg and has notched up over one kilometer on its odometer as it makes its way to Aeolis Mons -- known unofficially as Mount Sharp -- the 5.5 kilometer high mound in the center of Gale Crater. Curiosity is expected to take up to a year to reach this ultimate goal.
The view from Curiosity's front hazcam on sol 317 -- the same day the MRO snapped the rover's progress from orbit.NASA/JPL-Caltech