NASA’s Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) software, which has been on board the Mars rover Opportunity for almost three years, will help Curiosity zoom in on features that Earth-based scientists want to see. It will use an automated image-capture process to photograph rocks meeting certain criteria, and then zoom in on them for further study. Scientists can program it to say “if you see this, do this,” which will make it easier to focus on interesting targets. NASA won’t have to go through the arduous process of checking the rover’s images for interesting features, and then telling it to proceed. (via New Brain Upgrade To Let Mars Rover Curiosity Decide For Itself Which Rocks To Zap | Popular Science)
The Curiosity rover grabbed a special self-portrait last week. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (or MAHLI) is situated on the long arm used to gather samples. It turned around and snapped this shot of the mast head (the one that houses the cool laser-eye ChemCam) tinted via its dirty dust-cover.