NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover has sent home a new selfie taken on January 23, 2018, from Vera Rubin Ridge, its work field for past several months. The region directly behind the rover in the picture is a clay-rich slope which will be soon explored by the mission. Curiosity will climb down this slope during the upcoming weeks.
The left side of the image is the north side while the right side shows the west. Gale Crater's rim is seen in the distant horizon. Mount Sharp is seen just behind Curiosity's head, partially hidden by its mast in the robotic selfie.
Mount Sharp was the prime location planned for the Curiosity mission which landed on the Red Planet five years ago. The rover's lifetime mission has been planned to be focused on the region for intense studies on the sediment layers formed over millions of years of Martian history.
The mission has landed on the Gale crater floor in August 2012 and has been moving towards the foothills of the Mount Sharp since September 2014.
The sedimentary layers were formed in the region by water, probably due to the presence of a lake or a series of lakes which accumulated the sediments. These sediment layers have also formed three kilometres High Mountain inside Gale Crater in the region.
The picture was developed by assembling dozens of images taken using the Curiosity's Mars Hands Lens Imager (MAHLI).
NASA has plans to release a new video series about other Mars mission from this month in the name "The Mars Report." JPL will show this video series on the occasion of 14th anniversary of the Opportunity rover.
The first episode will show the recent panoramic view of Mars taken by the Curiosity rover, ice deposits spotted by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the recent tests on the InSight lander which would be launched to Mars in May 2018.