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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Curiosity's stunning new selfie

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Curiosity proudly displaying her work. Click to view full size.
(Credit: NASA, California Institute of Technology, Malin Space Science Systems; Andrew Bodrov)

Exploring a gorgeous panorama of Mars shows Curiosity on the red planet posing before the hole she drilled into the rock.

Curiosity showing off her drill-skillz.
(Credit: NASA, California Institute of Technology, Malin Space Science Systems)

While we go about our daily lives here on Earth, Curiosity is busy beavering away up there on Mars. Just a few days ago, she drilled into the surface and collected her first sample — the first rover to do so off Earth, according to NASA.

She's also been snapping away, sending back images of herself posing in the Martian landscape like an enthusiastic relative on their first trip to Rome. Not that we're complaining.

This latest image has been stitched into a panorama, showing her perching jauntily on the John Klein platform while the Gale Crater stretches out in all directions below. It's composed of photos taken with Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), which is operated using a robotic arm, and the rover's Mastcams.

Curiosity is equipped with a total of 17 cameras for snapping the Martian landscape — but you never see any camera arms in the rover's selfies. That's because the shots sent back cut out any sections that show the arm, so we get clean images like the one seen above.

It's pretty stunning, right? But that's not all &mdash photographer Andrew Bodrov stitched the shots together into an amazing 360-degree interactive panorama that you can explore like Google Street View.


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