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Map showing the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity from its August 2012 landing site to the “Pahrump Hills” outcrop at the Mount Sharp.¬† (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

This mosaic, taken with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows the planned route (in yellow) of NASA’s Curiosity rover from “Pahrump Hills” at the base of Mount Sharp, through the “Murray Formation,” and south to the hematite ridge further up the flank of Mount Sharp. (NASA/JPL-Caltech )

This graphic shows the geologic cross-section through lower Mount Sharp on Mars, corresponding to the segment A to A’ shown in PIA18781. This cross-section provides an interpretation of the geologic relationship between the “Murray Formation,” the crater floor sediments, and the hematite ridge. The cross-sectional view also highlights the impressive thickness of the Murray Formation – around 650 feet (200 meters). NASA’s Curiosity rover will be exploring this formation. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover shows the “Amargosa Valley,” on the slopes leading up to Mount Sharp on Mars. The rover is headed toward the “Pahrump Hills” outcrop, seen above the scale bar. This area represents a boundary between the plains of Gale Crater, named Aeolis Palus, and the layered slopes of Mount Sharp, or Aeolis Mons. Curiosity has recently crossed into this terrain and now is on the Mount Sharp side of the transition zone. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

This image taken by the Curiosity rover’s Mast Camera shows the “Pahrump Hills” outcrop and surrounding terrain, as seen from a position about 70 feet (20 meters) northwest of the outcrop. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

A color mosaic taken by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover Mast Camera (mastcam) shows strata exposed along the margins of the valleys in the “Pahrump Hills” region on Mars in this undated handout photo courtesy of NASA. After 18 months of driving, scientists on September 11, 2014, announced that Curiosity had arrived at the base of Mount Sharp ahead of schedule, thanks to a somewhat serendipitous decision to take an alternative path that would be gentler on the rover’s damaged wheels. Within two weeks, Curiosity will reach an outcrop of rock called Pahrump Hills, where the first drill samples of Mount Sharp real estate will be made. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Handout (OUTER SPACE – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

This image taken by the Curiosity rover’s Mast Camera shows the “Pahrump Hills” outcrop and surrounding terrain, as seen from a position about 70 feet (20 meters) northwest of the outcrop. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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