NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spots Curiosity rover on Mars

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has spotted the Curiosity rover, which appears as a dark speck in the Gale Crater on Mars. 

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spots the Curiosity rover on Mars on December 29, 2023
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spots the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars from orbit on December 29, 2023. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured Curiosity on December 29, 2023, and NASA’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), which manages both the MRO and Curiosity, released this image on March 1, 2024.

This powerful camera is capable of viewing objects as small as a dinner table on the Martian surface from Mars orbit. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been orbiting Mars since 2006. 

It is an area within the Gale Crater where the striped dark and light bands are seen. NASA’s Curiosity rover is taking a closer look here because the scientists are interested to know what kind of materials on the surface created these alternating bands.

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been operating on Mars since 2012. It landed inside the Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012.

The 154-kilometer-diameter Gale Crater formed about 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago when a meteor hit Mars.

The Curiosity rover made its first drive on the surface of Mars on August 22, 2012, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the track of the first drive of Curiosity from orbit using its High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captures the track of the first drive of Curiosity from orbit on August 22, 2012
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captures the track of the first drive of Curiosity from orbit on August 22, 2012. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

Currently, NASA’s two rovers, Perseverance and Curiosity, are operating on Mars.

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Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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