NASA Curiosity rover sends back 1st color picture of Mars

8:07 AM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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IN SPACE - AUGUST 6: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems, This view of the landscape to the north of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was acquired by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the afternoon of the first day after landing. (The team calls this day Sol 1, which is the first Martian day of operations; Sol 1 began on August 6, 2012.) and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion

ALICIA CHANG
AP Science Writer

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - NASA's Curiosity rover has beamed back its first color photo from the ancient crater where it landed.

The view showed a pebbly landscape and the rim of Gale Crater off in the distance. Curiosity snapped the photo on the first day on the surface after touching down on Mars Sunday night.

The rover took the shot with a camera at the end of its robotic arm, which remained stowed. The landscape looked fuzzy because the camera's removable cover was coated with dust that kicked up during the descent to the ground.

Since landing, Curiosity has sent back several black-and-white images of its surroundings including a mountain view. As it continues with its health check-ups, it is expected to send back sharper pictures of its landing site.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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