Nasa rover sends ultimate 'social distancing' photo – a lonely selfie from the surface of Mars

AS most of us try and social distance ourselves, Nasa has released what some may consider the ultimate 'isolation-selfie'.

It was taken by the space agency's Curiosity rover as it continued to explore Mars last month.

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The selfie was taken at the Hutton Drill Site just before the rover headed up Mars's Greenheugh pediment.

This was the steepest terrain it has ever climbed.

Planetary geologist Michelle Minitti wrote in Nasa's blog post: "Kudos to our rover drivers for making it up the steep, sandy slope below the Greenheugh pediment and delivering us to a stretch of geology we had our eyes on even before we landed in Gale crater!"

The little rover had to have three attempts to scale the hill.

The 'selfie' is actually made up of 86 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera.

This camera is attached to the rover's robotic arm which can be edited out when the images are stitched together.

Curiosity will continue to climb on Mars and view the planet from a different perspective.

Mars facts

Here's what you need to know about the red planet…

  • Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun
  • It is named after the Roman god of war
  • The landmass of Mars is very similar to Earth but due to the difference in gravity you could jump three times higher there than you can here
  • Mars is mountainous and hosts the tallest mountain known in the Solar System called Olympus Mons, which is three times higher than Everest
  • Mars is considered to be the second most habitable planet after Earth
  • It takes the planet 687 Earth days to orbit the Sun
  • So far, there has been 39 missions to Mars but only 16 of these have been successful

Minitti explained: "Now that we do not have a steep cliff in our front windshield, the skies stretch largely unencumbered above and around us.

"Navcam will take a 360 degree look around for dust devils on two different sols, and will acquire movies looking for clouds both in the afternoon and early morning.

"Mastcam and Navcam will assess the dustiness of the atmosphere by gazing across Gale crater from our great viewpoint."


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In other news, Elon Musk's SpaceX has launched its sixth load of 60 Starlink satellites into space.

The water that once flowed on Mars contained just the right ingredients to support life, scientists say.

And, the first ever cookie to be baked in space was cooked aboard the ISS.

Would you like to travel to Mars? Let us know in the comments…

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