NASA Mars Rover’s View of Possible Westward Route

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover reached the edge of a dune on Jan. 30 and
photographed the valley on the other side, to aid assessment of whether
to cross the dune.
Curiosity is on a southwestward traverse of many months from an area
where it found evidence of ancient conditions favorable for microbial
life to its long-term science destination on the lower slopes of Mount
Sharp. Based on analysis of images taken from orbit by NASA’s Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter, a location dubbed “Dingo Gap” was assessed as a
possible gateway to a favorable route for the next portion of the
traverse.
A dune across Dingo Gap is about 3 feet (1 meter) high, tapered off
at both sides of the gap between two low scarps. Curiosity reached the
eastern side of the dune on Jan. 30 and returned images that the rover
team is using to guide decisions about upcoming drives.
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess
ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian
environmental conditions. JPL, a division of the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena, built the rover and manages the project for
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

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