NASA’s Curiosity rover is looking a little worn down in the latest interactive panorama made available on Thursday. Too bad there aren’t any robotic detailing services on Mars. Despite its grimy appearance, the intrepid rover is currently preparing to drill at a site nicknamed Kimberley, its third location since landing on Mars in 2012. The panorama is a little disorienting, but it’s still incredible to see the Martian landscape as Curiosity diligently works through the dusty conditions.
Don’t worry though, because Curiosity was built to withstand the Red Planet’s sandy landscape. Perhaps Curiosity is just trying to blend into its surroundings. Earlier this week, the rover actually performed a “mini-drill,” and shared pictures of its potential drilling target on Twitter.
It’s wonderful that Curiosity and the team at NASA behind the project continue to share near-real-time updates. With mini-drill preparatory work already completed, the rover is set to sample some of the underlying dirt that’s dug up, giving researchers a better understanding about the planet’s early history.
This entire panorama is comprised of 138 images taken by Curiosity’s MAHLI camera, and stretches more than 30,000 pixels wide. Holy moly. If you want to experience what it’s like standing on Mars, this is as close as we’ll get before actually sending humans to the planet sometime in the future.