Curiosity Extends Arm for First Time on Mars
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity extended its robotic arm on Aug. 20, 2012, for the first time on Mars and used its Navigation Camera (Navcam) to capture this view of the extended arm.
The view is a mosaic of low-resolution thumbnail images returned to Earth a few hours after the activity on Mars. Higher resolution versions were to follow.
The 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm maneuvers a turret of tools including a camera, a drill, a spectrometer, a scoop and mechanisms for sieving and portioning samples of powdered rock and soil.
Numbers around the edge are degrees of the compass and degrees below or above horizontal.
Curiosity landed on Mars two weeks ago to begin a two-year mission using 10 instruments to assess whether a carefully chosen study area inside Gale Crater has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project, including Curiosity, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the rover. The Space Division of MDA Information Systems Inc. built the robotic arm in Pasadena.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech