This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at a drill site called “Okoruso,” on the “Naukluft Plateau” of lower Mount Sharp.
In front of Curiosity is the hole, surrounded by grayish drill cuttings. The rover is collecting rock powder at Okoruo to compare it to material from the nearby “Lubango” drilling site.
Since 2012, Curiosity has been exploring the Gale Crater, finding evidence of life-friendly environments and a long-lasting series of lakes. In 2014 it reached the base of Mt. Sharp, the 3-mile-high mound in the crater’s center whose sedimentary layers of rock can be read by geologists like the pages in a Martian history book.