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Sci-Tech

NASA Mars rover's cute selfie will make you say 'aw'

NASA's Curiosity rover pulls off its best Wall-E impersonation in a charmer of a selfie beamed back from Mars.

That's one charming rover.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

You're looking at a German shepherd puppy. It tilts its head. Your heart swoons. If you're into real-life space adventures, then that's how you'll feel about the Mars Curiosity rover's latest (and most adorable) selfie. 

The rover team tweeted a view of Curiosity's "head" turned at an endearing angle on Tuesday as a welcome-back message after the resolution of the US government shutdown. "I'm back! Did you miss me? This selfie is part of a fresh batch of images, direct from #Mars," the team wrote.

The image comes from a batch the rover sent back on Tuesday. It's part of a sequence taken by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager. The originals are upside-down.

The head of the rover actually holds a whole lot of technology. The circular component near the top is part of the ChemCam system, which uses a laser, telescope and camera to help analyze rock surfaces. 

The two squares below are the left and right mast cameras (better known as simply the Mastcam). The two sets of stacked circular lenses to the far left and right are the rover's navigation cameras. 

Most of the rover's well-publicized selfies have shown wider views of the plucky machine. This latest, more-intimate portrait is a reminder of just how charming that planet-exploring hunk of metal and technology can be.