Curiosity Snaps Its First Self-Portrait On Mars

A few days ago Curiosity used its Mars Hand Lens Imager camera to snap its first self-portrait, which will allow NASA mission engineers to inspect and document the state of the rover.

For the moment only a low-res version of the image is available, stitched together from a collection of thumbnail images. But once the high-res version is sent the engineers will be able to examine the amount of dust the rover has accumulated during its stay on the red planet, as well as monitor wheel wear since AAA isn't available off-Earth just yet.

The image was snapped at a spot known as Rocknest in the Gale Crater, and in front of the rover you can see the scrape marks where it scooped its first soil samples. But if you can't wait for NASA to post the larger version, you can always monitor the incoming RAW imagery from Curiosity yourself via its website. [NASA via Universe Today]

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