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NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover Sends First Panorama

By Austin Amuzie - Friday, August 10, 2012

The photo-snapping rover Curiosity returned another postcard from Mars on Thursday, August 9, the first 360-degree color panorama of Gale Crater. This are the first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars.

In the next few days, the software on Curiosity will be optimized for surface operation.

This 360-degree, full-resolution panorama from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the area all around the rover within Gale Crater on Mars. 
This full-resolution image shows part of the deck of NASA's Curiosity rover taken from one of the rover's Navigation cameras looking toward the back left of the rover. 
This is a close-up view of a zone where the soil at Curiosity's landing site was blown away by the thrusters on the rover's descent stage. The excavation of the soil reveals probable bedrock outcrop. This is important because it shows the shallow depth of the soil in this area. The area surrounding the zones of excavation shows abundant small rocks that may form a pavement-like layer above harder bedrock. 
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity sent its first color panorama of the pebble-strewn plain where it landed. In the distance is the rim of Gale Crater, which scientists would like to explore for ancient signs of life. A wheel of the rover is in the lower right. (NASA)

More Photos Still To Come.

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