[meteorite-list] Full-Circle Vista from NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Shows 'Murray Buttes'

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 19:33:47 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201608220233.u7M2XlCv018229_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Full-Circle Vista from NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Shows 'Murray Buttes'
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
August 19, 2016

This 360-degree vista was acquired on Aug. 5, 2016, by the Mastcam on
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover as the rover neared features called "Murray
Buttes" on lower Mount Sharp. The dark, flat-topped mesa seen to the left
of the rover's arm is about 50 feet high and, near the top, about 200
feet wide.

Eroded mesas and buttes reminiscent of the U.S. Southwest shape part of
the horizon in the latest 360-degree color panorama from NASA's Curiosity
Mars rover.

The rover used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to capture dozens of component
images of this scene on Aug. 5, 2016, four years after Curiosity's landing
inside Gale Crater.

The visual drama of Murray Buttes along Curiosity's planned route up lower
Mount Sharp was anticipated when the site was informally named nearly
three years ago to honor Caltech planetary scientist Bruce Murray (1931-2013),
a former director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
JPL manages the Curiosity mission for NASA.

The buttes and mesas are capped with rock that is relatively resistant
to wind erosion. This helps preserve these monumental remnants of a layer
that formerly more fully covered the underlying layer that the rover is
now driving on.

Early in its mission on Mars, Curiosity accomplished its main goal when
it found and examined an ancient habitable environment. In an extended
mission, the rover is examining successively younger layers as it climbs
the lower part of Mount Sharp. A key goal is to learn how freshwater lake
conditions, which would have been favorable for microbes billions of years
ago if Mars has ever had life, evolved into harsher, arid conditions much
less suited to supporting life. The mission is also monitoring the modern
environment of Mars.

These findings have been addressing high-priority goals for planetary
science and further aid NASA's preparations for a human mission to the
Red Planet.

For more information about Curiosity, visit:



News Media Contact
Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726 / 202-358-1077
dwayne.c.brown at nasa.gov / laura.l.cantillo at nasa.gov

Received on Sun 21 Aug 2016 10:33:47 PM PDT

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