“The rover has driven over 16 miles since landing in Gale Crater in 2012,” says Fraeman in the video. And, as the image expands she adds, “This view is from 1,500 feet above our landing site!”
Throughout the dazzling video, Fraeman points out numerous stunning elements of the panorama, including vast plains of volcanic sand shaped by the Martian winds, the unusually clear atmosphere of the Martian winter that facilitates views of the crater’s rim some 20 miles away, and some up-close images of the material currently under analysis by the hearty rover.
Also, says Fraeman, many of the textured surface features found in these up-close images seem to indicate they were formed in the presence of groundwater.
The dazzling visuals and spirited narration ends with a highlighted path showing the rover’s next route and targets. This includes a look at “Rafael Navarro Mountain,” named for one of the mission’s scientists who passed away in January.