On the Cover: Three years into its time on Mars, Curiosity’s human operators uplinked artificial intelligence software onto its main computer, enabling the rover to choose for itself which rock targets to zap with its investigative laser beam. Thanks to this Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) software, Curiosity can select promising targets without commands from the people who created it. This self-portrait of Curiosity, taken on Vera Rubin Ridge, is assembled from images taken by its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on January 23, 2018. The rim of Gale crater is visible at left (north) and right (south). NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
6 Automating Science on Mars: Raymond Francis and Tara Estlin detail the intelligent targeting system onboard Curiosity and Opportunity.