Curiosity lands on Mars - what's next?
The Mars Hand Lens Imager on the Mars rover Curiosity shows a patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover's Dust Removal Tool.
The surface of the planet Mars inside Gale's Crater is shown as NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drives toward a flat rock with pale veins that may hold clues to a wet history on the planet.
An outcrop at the "Sheepbed" locality taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover with its right Mast Camera, shows well-defined veins filled with whitish minerals, interpreted as calcium sulfate.
An image from the Mast Camera on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the surface of the planet with inclined layering known as cross-bedding in an outcrop called "Shaler" on a scale of a few tenths of a meter, or decimeters.
This image from the right Mast Camera of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows rough spherical features on the surface of the planet in an area called 'Yellowknife Bay'.
This colour image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows part of the wall of Gale Crater, the location on Mars where the rover landed.
This 360-degree, full-resolution panorama from NASA's Curiosity rover, shows the area all around the rover within Gale Crater on Mars. The rover's deck is to the left and far right. The rover's "head" or mast, where the Navigation cameras that took this picture are located, casts a shadow seen near the center.
The martian landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars, is seen in 3-D colours in this picture released by NASA. The anaglyph was made from a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance Cameras on the front of the rover. The image is cropped but part of Mount Sharp, a peak that is about 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) high, is still visible rising above the terrain. This image was captured by the rover's front left Hazard-Avoidance camera at full resolution shortly after it landed. It has been linearized to remove the distorted appearance that results from its fisheye lens.
A portion of the first colour 360-degree panorama from NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars.
A view obtained by Curiosity is given colour derived from images acquired from orbiting spacecraft. The view looks north, showing a distant ridge that is the north wall and rim of Gale Crater.
This Picasso-like self portrait of Curiosity was taken by its Navigation cameras, located on the now-upright mast.
Mount Sharp on Mars photographed by Nasa rover Curiosity.
This image comparison shows a view through a Hazard-Avoidance camera on Curiosity before and after the clear dust cover was removed.
An atist's concept depicts the moment that Nasa's Curiosity rover touches down onto the Martian surface.
An artist's concept shows the sky crane manoeuvre during the descent of Nasa's Curiosity rover to the Martian surface.
An artist's concept of Nasa's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft approaching Mars.
This artist's concept of Curiosity using its Chemistry and Camera instrument to investigate the composition of a rock surface.
An artist's concept features of Nasa's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.
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After a spectacular landing on Mars, the rover Curiosity wasted no time embracing its inner shutterbug, delighting scientists with vistas of Gale Crater complete with sand dunes, mountain views and even haze.
The nuclear-powered, six-wheel Curiosity is on a quest to learn whether the Martian environment could have been favorable for microbial life. Before it can drive, it has to slog through weeks of health checkups. Since it's the most complex spacecraft ever sent to the red planet, engineers want to make sure it's in tip-top shape before they hand over the keys to scientists. It already has done a cursory check of its 10 science tools, but more tests are needed. This weekend, its computers get a software update - a process that will last several days.
When can we watch a movie of the touchdown?
The footage is recorded and stored on board Curiosity and will be downloaded as time allows. It sent back a low-quality video and several high-resolution frames that captured the last few minutes of the descent, providing a sense of a spacecraft landing on another planet. In the video, the protective heat shield pops off and tumbles away. It ends with billowing plumes of dust as Curiosity was safely delivered to the surface.
What are the first impressions of Gale Crater?
The mission's chief scientist John Grotzinger said it was like staring at California's Mojave Desert. The landing site is pebbly with sand dunes nearby and mountains off in the distance. A curtain of haze hung over the site. Curiosity's destination is Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-high mountain rising from the center of the crater floor near the equator. Observations from space reveal the base of the mountain shows signs of past water - a good place to hunt for the chemical ingredients of life.
How did the last Sunday's landing go?
Curiosity's performance was pretty much on target with expectations. Because it weighed nearly 2,000 pounds, it had to be gently lowered to the surface - a routine NASA had never tried before. A preliminary reconstruction indicates it landed 1 1/2 miles downrange from the bull's-eye.
How many rovers are now on Mars?
Curiosity joins the long-running Opportunity, which has been exploring craters in Mars' southern hemisphere since 2004. Opportunity's twin, Spirit, fell silent in 2010 after getting stuck in a sand trap. Curiosity's prime mission lasts two years.
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