Photos from Mars

Curiosity—a robotic vehicle—landed on the surface of Mars at the beginning of last August. That means it won’t be long until the first anniversary of its arrival on the red planet. Since it landed, it’s been collecting a variety of data, including pictures. Let’s take a look at some of Curiosity’s first pictures from Mars.

The Curiosity rover has three types of cameras available (able to shoot in both black-and-white and color), and—importantly for tech fans like myself—it doesn’t just stuff the pictures in an archive somewhere.

On the contrary, NASA loves to show off their Mars photos, and even assembles panoramas from these photos, which it publishes on the Curiosity project’s website. One of the last such pictures is this self-portrait of the rover, taken at the end of last October:

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems.

However, the rover’s mission is not to take self-portraits. Here is a selection of the other pictures Curiosity took in its first quarter-year on Mars, courtesy of the NASA gallery:

A panoramic view of the rover’s location during the 59th Martian day. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Stones from the rover’s location on its 52nd Martian day. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

Stones from the rover’s location on its 52nd Martian day. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

This picture shows the first touch of Curiosity’s robotic hand on the surface of Mars. The photograph was taken using the navigation camera. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

This picture shows the first touch of Curiosity’s robotic hand on the surface of Mars. The photograph was taken using the navigation camera. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

A photograph of one of the rover’s cameras, with Mars in the background. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

A photograph of one of the rover’s cameras, with Mars in the background. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

A calibration target intended for the camera attached to the robotic hand. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems.

A calibration target intended for the camera attached to the robotic hand. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems.

A panoramic view created with the help of the navigation camera after 21 days of Curiosity’s stay on the red planet. On the right you can see fresh tracks left by the rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

A panoramic view created with the help of the navigation camera after 21 days of Curiosity’s stay on the red planet. On the right you can see fresh tracks left by the rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

A panorama showing Curiosity’s landing spot, with Mount Sharp (5.5 km high) in the background. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

A panorama showing Curiosity’s landing spot, with Mount Sharp (5.5 km high) in the background. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

Tracks left on the surface of Mars. This picture was taken using one of the hazard avoidance cameras, which is equipped with a fisheye lens. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Tracks left on the surface of Mars. This picture was taken using one of the hazard avoidance cameras, which is equipped with a fisheye lens. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Marks left by the landing. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Marks left by the landing. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

One of the very first photographs that the rover sent from Mars. It shows Curiosity’s own shadow. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

One of the very first photographs that the rover sent from Mars. It shows Curiosity’s own shadow. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Taken after the landing—rover shadow in the foreground, Mount Sharp in the background. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Taken after the landing—rover shadow in the foreground, Mount Sharp in the background. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

For more pictures like this, visit the web pages of Mars Science Laboratory.

Last updated 2. August 2013

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Author: Zoner

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