NASA's Mars rover Curiosity snaps dusty selfie

Updated Sept 07, 2018
    AP Aerospace Writer
This composite image from Aug. 9, 2018 photos made available by NASA shows the Curiosity rover at Vera Rubin Ridge on Mars. A thin layer of dust is visible on the nuclear-powered rover, the result of a storm that enveloped the planet this summer. The darkish sky is from dust still in the atmosphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via AP)

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has snapped a dusty but cool selfie.

NASA released the panorama this week. A thin layer of dust is visible on Curiosity , the result of a storm that enveloped Mars this summer. The darkish sky indicates dust still clogging the atmosphere in August, when the panorama was shot by Curiosity's mast camera. The rover had just drilled for a new rock sample.

Curiosity is nuclear-powered and therefore unaffected by the lack of sunlight. NASA's older rover Opportunity, however, relies on solar power and has been silent since June. Flight controllers hope as the Martian sky continues to clear, Opportunity will get back in contact. But after almost 15 years exploring the red planet, Opportunity may not have the strength or ability for a comeback.