Mars is the only known planet in the universe, inhabited solely by robots. There's InSight, the robust robot stethoscope that listens to the heartbeat of Red Planet ; there's the Odyssey and the Gang, a frame of droids scanning the planet from orbit. And then, climbing a lonely crater hundreds of miles from its moons, there is Curiosity the last surviving Mars rover.
For SUV sizes and capable of traveling 100 feet (30 meters) per hour, Curiosity has been researching a 3.5 billion year old pit called Galle Crater since it landed there in 2012. Now, curiosity climbs a mountain known as Sharpe Peak or Aolis Mons into the crater center. In a grim and beautiful photo taken on the 2,573th Martian Day of Curiosity's mission (November 1
In a new photo posted to NASA's Mars website a congested lump is twisting toward the side of the mountain, while a huge ridge of blurred rocks in the background. This ridge is actually the edge of the Galle Crater, enclosing the rover for about 50 miles (80 kilometers) each way.
The photo was taken from the back of Curiosity, showing the gloomy horizon that the rover leaves after slowly climbing from the base of Mount Sharp. It's a lonely scene, of course, but curiosity is constantly looking for new friends; one of the main goals of the rover is to find evidence that Mars could (or once did) sustain microbial life . The Rover has not encountered any local Martians (yet) but has found ample evidence of past water and traces of elements such as hydrogen oxygen phosphorus and carbon – all considered "building blocks" of life. Hopefully, the sediment bark lining Mount Sharp will reveal more clues as to how and when the ancient water once flowed through the crater. In the meantime, it's a great place to stop and enjoy nature. As you can see, there is no shortage of this.
Originally published by Live Science .