Tuesday Aug 07, 201205:57 PM GMT
Curiosity Mars rover sends first color image
Nasa's curiosity rover has sent back the first colour pictures of its landing site.
Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:56PM
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NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has sent its first color image of the Red Planet taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) the day after it landed.

The hazy view shows the north wall and rim of Gale crater where the rover landed and is expected to search for the ingredients for life.

“We have ended one phase of the mission much to our enjoyment,” said mission manager Mike Watkins. “But another part has just begun.”

Curiosity's MAHLI camera is programmed to take close-up, high-resolution views of rocks and soil at the rover's Gale Crater field site.

The camera can focus on any target at distances of about 2.1 centimeters to infinity.

The Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity rover traveled over 567 million kilometers to reach the Red Planet since its launch last November.

Dusty images sent by the rover on Monday confirmed the arrival of the car-sized one-ton vehicle, which is designed to study signs of life existence in Mars during a two-year mission.

The first advanced mobile science laboratory sent to distant world, the rover is packed with sophisticated chemistry and geology instruments that can analyze samples of soil, rock and atmosphere on the spot and beam results back to Earth.

“I think its engineering at its finest,” said former NASA chief technologist Bobby Braun. “What engineers do is they make the impossible possible.”

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