NASA's Mars Exploration Program (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Sol 530: Looking Back at Purgatory Dune
In order to learn more about the sand dune in Dingo Gap , the rover will be commanded to drive up to it on Sol 528. Mobility tests on terrestrial sand dunes show that MSL can climb dunes, but we don't yet know that the feature in front of MSL is sandy throughout. Opportunity got stuck in Purgatory Dune for a few weeks, in part because it contained more fine grained dust than typical terrestrial dunes. So MSL will study the interior structure of the Martian dune before driving over it. There is also a concern that Dingo Gap is deep enough that radio communications directly to/from Earth via the high gain antenna may be affected, so post-drive images looking over the dune into the gap are planned to better assess the terrain.
Written by Ken Herkenhoff
Other panoramas of Mars by Curiosity rover:
The planet Earth has proven to be too limiting for our awesome community of panorama photographers. We're getting an increasing number of submissions that depict locations either not on Earth (like Mars, the Moon, and Outer Space in general) or do not realistically represent a geographic location on Earth (either because they have too many special effects or are computer generated) and hence don't strictly qualify for our Panoramic World project.But many of these panoramas are extremely beautiful or popular of both.So, in order to accommodate our esteemed photographers and the huge audience that they attract to 360Cities with their panoramas, we've created a new section (we call it an "area") called "Out of this World" for panoramas like these.Don't let the fact that these panoramas are being placed at the Earth's South Pole fool you - we had to put them somewhere in order not to interfere with our Panoramic World.Welcome aboard on a journey "Out of this World".