Thu, August 23, 2012
Technology > Science > U.S. Mars Rover Curiosity Lands

Curiosity rover explores Mars

2012-08-15 03:07:59 GMT2012-08-15 11:07:59(Beijing Time)

This color image from NASA's Curiosity rover, taken August 8, 2012 and released by NASA August 12, 2012, shows an area excavated by the blast of the Mars Science Laboratory's descent stage rocket engines. This is part of a larger, high-resolution color mosaic made from images obtained by Curiosity's Mast Camera. With the loose debris blasted away by the rockets, details of the underlying materials are clearly seen. Of particular note is a well-defined, topmost layer that contains fragments of rock embedded in a matrix of finer material. Shown in the inset in the figure are pebbles up to 1.25 inches (about 3 centimeters) across (top two arrows) and a larger clast 4 inches (11.5 centimeters) long protruding up by about 2 inches (10 centimeters) from the layer in which it is embedded. (REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout)

The red X marks where NASA's Curiosity's Mars rover landed on Aug. 5, 2012 — about 1.5 miles east of the spot it was targeting.

This image provided by NASA shows a high-resolution 360-degree color panorama of Gale Crater taken by the Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on August 5, 2012. A low-quality version was released earlier. Curiosity is on a two-year mission to study whether Gale could support microbial life. (AP Photo/NASA)

Curiosity, the centerpiece of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, touched down in Mars' Gale Crater on Aug. 5.

NASA plans to use the rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) experiment to explore the chemical composition of this area and figure out how it was formed — with an eye out for signs that Mars once had conditions suitable for life.



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