Curiosity's Roving Progress Spied from Mars Orbit

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NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity appears as a bluish dot near the lower right corner of this enhanced-color view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Click to enlarge.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Ariz.

On June 27, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) crossed the skies over Gale Crater and used its High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera to capture a stunning bird's eye view of its wheeled robotic cousin.

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Curiosity, which landed inside Gale on Aug. 5, 2012, was exploring a geologically-interesting region called "Glenelg" on sol 317 of its mission when the MRO zoomed overhead.

Glenelg is located to the west of "Bradbury Landing" where the rover landed -- the mission's rocket blast zone can be easily spotted as a blue/grey fanned feature to the far left of the image. Curiosity's meandering wheel track marks are easily resolved through HiRISE's lens.

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Curiosity has now left Glenelg and has notched up over one kilometer on its odometer as it makes its way to Aeolis Mons -- known unofficially as Mount Sharp -- the 5.5 kilometer high mound in the center of Gale Crater. Curiosity is expected to take up to a year to reach this ultimate goal.

The view from Curiosity's front hazcam on sol 317 -- the same day the MRO snapped the rover's progress from orbit.
NASA/JPL-Caltech