Road Trip

  • Released Tuesday, December 25th, 2012
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:52PM

The Curiosity rover's main destination is Mount Sharp and its intriguing rock layers. But before heading there, the rover took a road trip east to check out Glenelg, an area where three types of Martian terrain come together. Along the way, Curiosity made several stops, especially at Rocknest, where it took its first sniffs of the Martian atmosphere and its first scoops of soil. After analyzing those samples, the rover was back on the move toward Point Lake, a spot near Glenelg where Curiosity will look for a place to try out its drill. Some highlights of the rover's trip are captured in the videos and these pictures, starting with Curiosity's view of the landing site as it neared touchdown.

Curiosity spotted this rock outcrop (left), where the rounded gravel fragments look like Earth's sedimentary rocks shaped by water (right).

Curiosity spotted this rock outcrop (left), where the rounded gravel fragments look like Earth's sedimentary rocks shaped by water (right).

At Rocknest, Curiosity checked out this sand drift, shown under lighting conditions typical of Mars (left) and Earth (right).

At Rocknest, Curiosity checked out this sand drift, shown under lighting conditions typical of Mars (left) and Earth (right).

Curiosity lifts a scoop of powdery material for analysis (left), after leaving a "bite mark" in the Martian soil where the sample was taken.

Curiosity lifts a scoop of powdery material for analysis (left), after leaving a "bite mark" in the Martian soil where the sample was taken.

After finishing at Rocknest, Curiosity found this striking rock outcrop, now named Shaler, near Glenelg.

After finishing at Rocknest, Curiosity found this striking rock outcrop, now named Shaler, near Glenelg.

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Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center<br /
Cover image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
Landing video courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
SAM intake imagery courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
Curiosity path image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
Rocknest dune image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
Scoop close-up image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
X-ray analysis image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames
Rock outcrop image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems