Mars Rover Curiosity's Photos: September to November 2012

Bright Particle in Hole Dug by Scooping of Martian Soil

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image shows part of the small pit or bite created when NASA's Mars rover Curiosity collected its second scoop of Martian soil at a sandy patch called "Rocknest." The bright particle near the center of this image, and similar ones elsewhere in the pit, prompted concern because a small, light-toned shred of debris from the spacecraft had been observed previously nearby. However, the mission's science team assessed the bright particles in this scooped pit to be native Martian material rather than spacecraft debris. This image was taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on Curiosity's arm during the 69th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 15, 2012), about a week after the scoop dug this hole.

Mars Rover Curiosity Samples Fine Sand

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image shows fine sand from Mars that was filtered by NASA's Curiosity rover as part of its first "decontamination" exercise on Oct. 10, 2012. These particles passed through a sample-processing sieve that is porous only to particles less than 0.006 inches across.

Mars Rover Curiosity: Sample Decontamination

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image from Curiosity's Mast Camera shows NASA's Curiosity rover just after discarding a soil sample as part of its first "decontamination" exercise on Oct. 10, 2012. A small amount of remnant material is visible inside the delivery tube (inset).

Mars Dirt Samples Too Large for Curiosity Rover

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This photo of the sample scoop on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows larger Martian dirt particles too large to filter through the rover's sample sieve, which can only accept particles 0.006 inches across.

Curiosity Sees Bright Object

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image from the right Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows a scoop full of sand and dust lifted by the rover's first use of the scoop on its robotic arm. In the foreground, near the bottom of the image, a bright object is visible on the ground. The object might be a piece of rover hardware. This image was taken during the mission's 61st Martian day, or sol (Oct. 7, 2012).

Wheel Scuff Mark at 'Rocknest'

NASA/ JPL-Caltech

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple. The rover's right Navigation camera took this image of the scuff mark on the mission's 57th Martian day, or sol (Oct. 3, 2012), the same sol that a wheel created the mark. For scale, the width of the wheel track is about 16 inches (40 centimeters).

Curiosity's Travels Through Sol 56

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 56th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Oct. 2, 2012).

Ancient Mars Streambed

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA's Curiosity rover found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, which the science team has named "Hottah" after Hottah Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. This image mosaic was taken by Curiosity's 100-millimeter Mastcam telephoto lens on its 39th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Sept. 14, 2012 PDT/Sept. 15 GMT). [Full Story]

Curiosity's Location During First Scooping

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This 360-degree scene shows the surroundings of the location where NASA Mars rover Curiosity arrived on the 59th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Oct. 5, 2012).

Bright Particle of Martian Origin in Scoop Hole

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image contributed to an interpretation by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity science team that some of the bright particles on the ground near the rover are native Martian material. Other light-toned material nearby has been assessed as small debris from the spacecraft. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera took this image on the mission's 66th Martian day, or sol, (Oct. 12, 2012) showing part of the hole or bite left in the ground when Curiosity collected its first scoop of Martian soil five sols earlier.

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