NASA’s Curiosity Rover Shows 360-Degree Images of Mars Looking Like Earth

NASA's Curiosity Rover Shows 360-Degree Images of Mars Looking Like Earth

The rover took more than 130 individual pictures Aug. 5, four years after it landed on Gale Crater, to compose the panorama. It shows the planet’s surface looking similar to the southwest U.S.

The rover that Nasa has been using to explore Mars in search of life has captured an incredible panorama of the planet that shows it looking a lot like Earth.

The Curiosity Mars rover captured the vista on August 5, four years after the rover landed on Gale Crater.

The view shows eroded mesas and buttes with a flat desert-like foreground, which looks eerily similar the southwestern US.

The surface seen in the footage is part of a geological layer called the Murray formation, which formed from lakebed mud deposits.

Nasa said the dark mesa just left of Curiosity’s robotic arm is about 50 feet high and 300 feet from the rover’s position, the Huffington Post reported.

Early in its mission on Mars, Curiosity accomplished its main goal when it found and examined an ancient habitable environment.

In an extended mission, the rover has been examining younger layers as it climbs the lower part of Mount Sharp.

A key aim is to work out how freshwater lake conditions evolved into the harsher environment that is the Mars of today.

The mission is also monitoring the modern environment of Mars.

The Curiosity rover was launched on November 26, 2011 and it reached the red planet on August 6, 2012.

Since then it has been exploring Martian surface in search of water and life.

A spacecraft designed to search the atmosphere of Mars for clues of life on the surface of the red planet will land in October.

The orbiter will land in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars, a flat part of the planet near its equator.

Nasa’s Opportunity rover also landed within this ellipse near Endurance crater in Meridiani Planum, in 2004, and has been exploring the 13 mile (22 km) wide Endeavour crater for the last five years.

Endeavour lies just outside the south-eastern extent of Schiaparelli’s landing ellipse.

Schiaparelli is riding to Mars on board the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.

The mission launched on a Proton rocket from Baikonur on 14 March, and is on course for a rendezvous with the red planet on 19 October.

Tarun Kumar

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