In this handout image provided by NASA and released on August 8, 2012, are the first two full-resolution images of the Martian surface from the Navigation cameras on NASA's Curiosity rover, which are located on the rover's 'head' or mast. The rim of Gale Crater can be seen in the distance beyond the pebbly ground. The topography of the rim is very mountainous due to erosion. The ground seen in the middle shows low-relief scarps and plains. The foreground shows two distinct zones of excavation li
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Scientists are evaluating driving routes the rover Curiosity may take on its way to a Martian mountain.
The NASA rover landed in Gale Crater near the Martian equator a week ago after an eight-month space flight. Its ultimate destination is Mount Sharp, which rises from the center of the crater.
Since landing, the car-size rover has been undergoing an extensive check of its systems and instruments. Officials said Tuesday that Curiosity has successfully completed an upgrade to its computers.
Engineers plan to have Curiosity move its wheels and take a short test drive in several days, but it will take a month to complete all checkups before the six-wheel rover can begin real driving.
Scientists estimate it'll take about a year to get to the lower slopes of the mountain.
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