In the spirit of fairness, I've combined the two words of the year and applied them to robots. Yes, robots. Robots that explore space, doing science. And just in case you didn't know, robots can be pretty vain too, taking snapshots of their junk for the whole Internet to see. To narrow the field down a bit, I've only selected robots that have photographed parts of their own structure, or attached components. I've also allowed the occasional robotic camera that was deployed for the sole purpose of taking a selfie (nice effort, IKAROS).
The first robot that likely comes to mind is the undisputed King of Selfies, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. The car-sized rover impressed the world with its selfie prowess when mission scientists released a stunning high-resolution mosaic of the rover in November 2012, only a couple of months after it landed inside Gale Crater. Curiosity achieved the feat by holding its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at (robotic) arm's length, taking a truly authentic "selfie." The world applauded this effort.
PHOTOS: Mars Through Curiosity's Powerful MAHLI Camera
Viking 2, 1976
PHOTOS: Alien Robots That Left Their Mark on Mars
NEWS: 9 Years Later: Remembering Mars Rover Spirit
NEWS: Opportunity Finds More Hints of Mars Habitability
PHOTOS: Phoenix Mars Lander's First Images
ANALYSIS: Advice to Rosetta: Maybe She's Just Not That Into You
Venera 13, 1982
ANALYSIS: When the Veneras Challenged Venus' Hellish Atmosphere
Chang'e 2, 2010
ANALYSIS: Chinese Probe Buzzes Asteroid Toutatis
Thanks to @AsteroidEnergy for leading me to Hayabusa!
VIDEO: NASA Aircraft Videos Hayabusa Re-Entry
Special thanks to all my Twitter buddies who engaged in Wednesday evening's conversation about robot selfies!
Can you think of more space mission "selfies"? Feel free to share them in the comments below.