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November 21, 2016 - Curious About Curiosity’s Selfies?

Curious About Curiosity’s Selfies?  Taken at the Rocknest dig site in Gale Crater in October 2012, this selfie is actually a mosaic of fifty-five images captured by NASA’s Curiosity rover, which left Earth five years ago this week. But how does a rover take a selfie? While the left and right Mastcam cameras are mounted on the rover’s head (looking very much like eyes), the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera sits on a movable turret, alongside other tools, at the end of a robot arm. MAHLI can be positioned to look closely at a target on the ground, or held up high to take images looking back at the rover itself. After MAHLI snaps multiple pictures from different vantage points, the images are assembled into a final mosaic of the entire rover (minus the robot arm, turret mount, and MAHLI itself).

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems

Weekly Calendar

November 21-27, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 21

Last Qtr moon 3:33 AM ET

Moon phase Tuesday 22

1989: STS-33 Discovery launched 

Moon phase Wednesday 23

1977: Meteosat 1 launched
1983: 149-day Salyut 7 mission ends
2002: STS-113 Endeavour launched
2014Soyuz TMA-15M launched carrying ISS Expedition 42/43 crew
2015: New Shepard makes first powered vertical landing of rocket booster from space

Moon phase Thursday 24

Thanksgiving Day

Jupiter 1.9° south of Moon

1947: First Aerobee rocket launch
: STS-44 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Friday 25

1970: First powered flight of M2-F3 lifting body

Moon phase Saturday 26

1965: France becomes third nation to launch a satellite
1975: Final X-24B lifting body flight
1985: STS-61B Atlantis launched
1989: Kvant 2 module launched
2011: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity launched

Moon phase Sunday 27

First Sunday in Advent

Moon at apogee

1885: First photo of a meteor shower
: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars
1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.