You have to love this one - Glenelg is the first destination that Mars rover Curiosity will be programmed to visit.
Wonder why they sent it all the way to Mars, only to have it come back to Scotland almost right away?
Officially - Glenelg is in the Highland area, and:
Glenelg is a village and civil parish in the Lochalsh area of Highland in western Scotland. The parish covers a large area including Knoydart, North Morar and the ferry port of Mallaig. At the 2001 census it had a population of 1,507.
A small village in a parish of the same name in the Inverness-shire district of Highland Council Area, Glenelg lies on Glenelg Bay, an inlet at the northern end of the Sound of Sleat opposite the Isle of Skye. Nearby are the Bernera Barracks and, in the summer months, a small community-owned ferry connects to Kylerhea on Skye from a terminal 1½ miles (2.5 km) to the northwest. A cast-iron octagonal lighthouse at the terminal was relocated from the Sandaig Islands in 2002. Built in 1910 and 7.3m (24 feet) in height, it was the work of brothers David A. (1854 - 193
and Charles Stevenson (1855 - 1950).
Glenelg is unique as the only palindromic place-name in Britain.
There is also Parish of Glenelg
Glenelg is a coastal parish, which lies in Highland Council Area, some 15 miles (24 km) south of Kyle of Lochalsh and 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Fort William in Highland.
It is located in the old county of Invernessshire, which disappeared following the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974.
The parish has an area of 563.3 sq. km (217.4 sq. miles). Glenelg has 4 neighbouring parishes; namely Arisaig & Moidart, Glenshiel, Kilmallie and Kilmonivaig.
That's all the conventional stuff out of the way
Destination Glenelg - a JPL press release
The scientists and engineers of NASA’s Curiosity rover mission have selected the first destination for their one-ton, six-wheeled mobile Mars laboratory. The target area, named Glenelg, is a natural intersection of three kinds of terrain. The choice was described by Curiosity Principal Investigator John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology during a media teleconference on Aug. 17.
“With such a great landing spot in Gale Crater, we literally had every degree of the compass to choose from for our first drive,” Grotzinger said. “We had a bunch of strong contenders. It is the kind of dilemma planetary scientists dream of, but you can only go one place for the first drilling for a rock sample on Mars. That first drilling will be a huge moment in the history of Mars exploration.”
The trek to Glenelg will send the rover 1,300 feet (400 meters) east southeast of its landing site. One of the three types of terrain intersecting at Glenelg is layered bedrock, which is attractive as the first drilling target.
“We’re about ready to load our new destination into our GPS and head out onto the open road,” Grotzinger said. “Our challenge is there is no GPS on Mars, so we have a roomful of rover-driver engineers providing our turn-by-turn navigation for us.”
Prior to the rover’s trip to Glenelg, the team in charge of Curiosity’s Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, is planning to give their mast-mounted rock-zapping laser and telescope combination a thorough checkout. On Saturday night, ChemCam is expected to “zap” its first rock in the name of planetary science. It will be the first time such a powerful laser has been used on the surface of another world.