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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Dots and dashes in a rover wheel

Dots and dashes in a rover wheel


Dots and dashes in a rover wheel
A still from a video showing testing of an engineering model of the Curiosity rover shows a pattern of holes -- the "visual odometry markers" in the wheels, which leave a rhythmic pattern in the rover's tracks, which will help the rover determine how far it has traveled using optical navigation. If you're wondering why the pattern appears as it does, they are dots and dashes of Morse code. As the rover drives, it spells out "J-P-L." J: . - - - P: . - - . L: . - . .

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Explore related images: BMSIL, pretty pictures, explaining technology, pics of hardware on earth, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

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