NASA Mars Orbiter Takes Amazing Picture Of Curiosity Rover

05/02/2015 11:22 GMT | Updated 05/02/2015 11:59 GMT

Let’s say you’re a multi-billion dollar space agency, and you happen to have a spacecraft in orbit over Mars AND a space robot on the surface of Mars.

Is there any reason you could imagine not to have the former take a high resolution photo of the latter?

Turns out, there is not.

This is a photograph of NASA's $2.5 billion Curiosity Rover taken by NASA’s own Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


The picture shows the robot on the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop that forms part of the basal layer of Mount Sharp - itself located in Mars' Gale Crater. And no - there's no human engineer in sight.

The rover has been inside the Gale Crater since it landed via a very awesome sky crane in mid-2012. The Reconnaissance Orbiter has been studying Mars since 2006 and has taken photographs of NASA’s surface robots before - but none with quite so pleasing panache as this picture.

Indeed, NASA also managed to use the Orbiter to help find Britain’s sort-of-failed Beagle 2 lander, which was thought lost in 2003 until it was discovered very recently -- dead, yes, but successfully landed -- on the surface.