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Rover Sends First Color Photo From Mars Crater

The image shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater in the distance. The image shown here has been rotated to correct for that tilt, so that the sky is up and the ground is down. (photo: NASA)
The image shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater in the distance. The image shown here has been rotated to correct for that tilt, so that the sky is up and the ground is down. (photo: NASA)
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The U.S. space rover Curiosity has beamed to Earth its first color photo of the Martian landscape, a reddish-brown scene from the floor of a crater.

The U.S. space agency NASA said Tuesday the photo shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater in the distance. The photo was shot using a camera packed away in the long robotic arm of the rover.

  • This image shows the first color view of the north wall and rim of Gale Crater where Curiosity landed. The picture was taken by the rover's camera at the end of its stowed robotic arm and appears fuzzy because of dust on the camera's cover.
  • This image shows what lies ahead for the rover -- its main science target, informally called Mount Sharp. The rover's shadow is seen in the foreground, and the dark bands beyond are dunes. In the distance is the highest peak of Mount Sharp.
  • NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute, left, descend to the Martian surface on August 5, 2012. The inset image is a cutout of the rover stretched to avoid saturation. The rover is descending toward the etched plains just north of the sand dunes.
  • In a stop motion frame taken during the NASA rover Mars landing, the heat shield falls away during Curiosity's descent to the surface of Mars.
  • One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on August 5, 2012. It was taken through a wide-angle lens on one of the rover's Hazard-Avoidance cameras.
  • The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team in the MSL Mission Support Area celebrates after learning the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012.
  • Xavier Cabrera (front, C) of New York, celebrates while watching a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center in Time Square, in New York, August 6, 2012.
  • About two hours after landing on Mars and beaming back its first image, NASA's Curiosity rover transmitted a higher-resolution image of its new Martian home, Gale Crater.
  • NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft passes above Mars' south pole in this artist's concept illustration.
  • The target landing area for NASA' Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater on Mars (top L).

NASA successfully landed Curiosity in the crater on Mars late Sunday after an eight-month journey through space. The rover's underbelly snapped hundreds of photos during its descent, but the new photo was the first from ground level after its landing.
 
The first photo is somewhat hazy, but NASA said it expects that as Curiosity's two-year mission unfolds, the rover's cameras will capture high-resolution pictures.
 
An official overseeing the camera that took the color picture, Ken Edgett, explained that the camera's transparent dust cover was still in place when the photo was taken, blurring it a bit. Nonetheless, he said rocks can be seen in the photo's foreground.
 
“The camera did what it is supposed to do," he said. "It found focus. When you look at the image online, you will see that you can see rocks in the foreground."
 
Over time, the $2.5 billion, car-sized rover will be used to investigate Martian geology, weather and radiation levels. Scientists hope the information will help them settle an age-old question - whether life ever existed on Mars or whether the red planet can sustain life in the future.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 09, 2012 1:03 PM
Congratulations. But do not forget that the universe is designed. YES, it was designed, and the solution to its probes are best gotten from the designer. Empirical figuration gives a lot of study and headache, but if things were here the way we want to reason them - that is, putting God aside - then the mathematics can only prove a recur. Study is good, but it must be so channeled to develop man in the right direction without altering the senses.At the moment man's senses have been so altered to pay attention to created things rather than their creator. And if probes are carried out with aim to find the designer's formula, a lot of progress can be made in finding solution to diseases and ailments that have defied science as a result. And even then, a solution will be found for the most dreaded conditions, including nuclear threat. The outer space has been used for research into communicable and contagious conditions; give thanks for this and you'll find more use for it.

by: bob from: roberts
August 08, 2012 2:41 AM
The saddest part of this equation are my friends and associates scoffing on the $2.5 billion price tag of this wonderful INCREDIBLE endeavor.
While we spend in 2010-$78.0 Billion on food stamps in our country.
In South Texas, we have the most obese population in the world (Corpus Christi-fattest in us 2009-10-11) . Allot are on the same program that encourages folks to eat and eat at the taxpayers expense and are on disability since they cannot work since they are so obese.

I volunteer for the first one way ticket to Mars! Take me......

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