NASA's Mars rover Cu­rios­ity snaps dusty selfie

The panorama shows dust still clog­ging sky af­ter sum­mer storm

Tulsa World - - Datelines - By Marcia Dunn

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA's Mars rover Cu­rios­ity has snapped a dusty but cool selfie.

NASA re­leased the panorama this week. A thin layer of dust is vis­i­ble on Cu­rios­ity, the re­sult of a storm that en­veloped Mars this sum­mer.

The dark­ish sky in­di­cates dust still clog­ging the at­mos­phere in Au­gust, when the panorama was shot by Cu­rios­ity's mast cam­era. The rover had just drilled for a new rock sam­ple.

Cu­rios­ity is nu­cle­ar­pow­ered and there­fore un­af­fected by the lack of sun­light. NASA's older rover Op­por­tu­nity, how­ever, re­lies on so­lar power and has been silent since June.

Flight con­trollers hope as the Mar­tian sky con­tin­ues to clear, Op­por­tu­nity will get back in con­tact.

But af­ter al­most 15 years ex­plor­ing the red planet, Op­por­tu­nity may not have the strength or abil­ity for a come­back.

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