First time ever: Mars Curiosity rover explores Martian sand dunes!

The image shows a close-up of the dunes' sand grains, taken by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera.

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2015, 19:41 PM IST
First time ever: Mars Curiosity rover explores Martian sand dunes!
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Washington: For the first time ever, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has studied the Martian sand dunes up-close and captured photos of the same.

The image shows a close-up of the dunes' sand grains, taken by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera. These observations will help scientists understand mineral composition of sand on Mars, and how the dunes, particularly active ones like the Bagnold Dunes evolve.

“We’ve planned investigations that will not only tell us about modern dune activity on Mars but will also help us interpret the composition of sandstone layers made from dunes that turned into rock long ago,” Bethany Ehlmann of the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

It's been three years since NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has been exploring Mars. The rover is currently driving up a mountain on Mars in the middle of the vast Gale Crater, seeking out evidence of habitable environments on the Red Planet.