In early March, NASA’s Curiosity rover began approaching an impressive rock formation just 6 meters high, which scientists have named Mont Mercoux. The Mars landmark is captured in all its glory in a new selfie with NASA’s rover, as well as a couple of panoramas posted by Curiosity. The photo shows a new well drilled near a rock sample nicknamed “Nontron”.
According to the mission, the Curiosity rover had to punch holes so scientists could study the composition of the terrain. The rover is looking for nontronite, a clay mineral that was previously recorded by orbiters. The machine drilled holes, took out a rock sample and placed it in its special compartment.
Scientists hope that the research will help in studying the planet, including the reasons why Mars turned into a desert planet.
The Curiosity selfie consists of 60 images taken with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the rover’s arm on March 26, 2021, the 3070th Mars mission day. They were combined with 11 images taken by Mastcam on the mast or “head” of the rover on March 16, 2021, the 3060th Mars mission day.
Curiosity also provided a couple of panoramas using its Mastcam on March 4, 2021, the 3049th Mars mission day.