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First Images From Curiosity On Mars

One of the first images taken by Curiosity after landing on the surface of Mars. The horizon is clearly visible, as well as one of the wheels of the rover to the bottom right of the image. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

One of the first images taken by Curiosity after landing on the surface of Mars. The horizon is clearly visible, as well as one of the wheels of the rover to the bottom right of the image. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After a 254 day, 354 million mile cruise through space, NASA’s Curiosity rover has successfully landed on the surface of Mars.  NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California confirmed touchdown at 10:32 pm PDT, based on data sent to Earth from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft which orbited overhead and watched as Curiosity performed its entry, descent, and landing phase.  

By all accounts, the landing was “picture-perfect”, with everything happening exactly as the mission team had hoped.  The first low-resolution black-and-white thumbnail images began pouring in within minutes of confirmation that the one-ton Curiosity rover landed safely inside its target destination at Gale Crater.

NASA expects to begin receiving full-color, hi-resolution images from Curiosity in the coming days when the rover’s mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed.  These first images from Curiosity were taken from the front and rear Hazard-Avoidance cameras, and serve to visually confirm two important details to the mission team:  That Curiosity landed safely on the surface, and that the rover landed on what appears to be a flat landscape littered with gravel instead of giant boulders.

All photos credit: NASA

The mission team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA celebrate the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars.  Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The mission team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA celebrate the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

One of the first images taken by Curiosity after landing on the surface of Mars. The horizon is clearly visible, as well as one of the wheels of the rover to the bottom right of the image. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

One of the first images taken by Curiosity after landing on the surface of Mars. The horizon is clearly visible, as well as one of the wheels of the rover to the bottom right of the image. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This image was sent back to Earth via communications with the Mars Odyssey spacecraft on its second pass over Curiosity's landing site early Monday morning. The rim of Gale Crater is clearly visible to the right of the image, confirming that Curiosity did in fact land inside the crater as planned. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This image was sent back to Earth via communications with the Mars Odyssey spacecraft on its second pass over Curiosity’s landing site early Monday morning. The rim of Gale Crater is clearly visible to the right of the image, confirming that Curiosity did in fact land inside the crater as planned. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mission team member at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California react after learning of Curiosity's successful landing on the surface of Mars.  Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Mission team member at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California react after confirming Curiosity’s successful landing on the surface of Mars. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

 

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