Mission To Mars

(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
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 Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. In the distance, the image shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater. The image is murky because the MAHLI's removable dust cover is apparently coated with dust blown onto the camera during the rover's terminal descent. Images taken without the dust cover in place are expected to during checkout of the robotic arm in coming weeks. The main purpose of Curiosity's MAHLI camera is to acquire close-up, high-resolution views of rocks and soil at the rover's Gale Crater field site. The camera is capable of focusing on any target at distances of about 0.8 inch (2.1 centimeters) to infinity. This means it can, as shown here, also obtain pictures of the Martian landscape. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
IN SPACE - AUGUST 6: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, a view of Mount Sharp is seen in the distance taken by NASA's Curiosity rover front hazcam and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on August 6, 2012 in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
IN SPACE - AUGUST 6: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, a view of Mount Sharp is seen in the distance taken by NASA's Curiosity rover front hazcam and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on August 6, 2012 in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The image from Curiosity's Mars Descent Imager illustrates the roughly circular swirls of dust kicked up from the Martian surface by the rocket motor exhaust. At this point, Curiosity is about 70 feet (20 meters) above the surface. This dust cloud was generated when the Curiosity rover was being lowered to the surface while the Sky Crane hovered above. This is the first image of the direct effects of rocket motor plumes on Mars and illustrates the mobility of powder-like dust on the Martian surface. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface of Mars on August 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT) and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The image was obtained by the Mars Descent Imager instrument known as MARDI and shows the 15-foot (4.5-meter) diameter heat shield when it was about 50 feet (16 meters) from the spacecraft. It was obtained two and one-half minutes before touching down on the surface of Mars and about three seconds after heat shield separation. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. The resolution of all of the MARDI frames is reduced by a factor of eight in order for them to be promptly received on Earth during this early phase of the mission. Full resolution (1,600 by 1,200 pixel) images will be returned to Earth over the next several months as Curiosity begins its scientific exploration of Mars. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface of Mars on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT) and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. This image from Curiosity's Mars Descent Imager reveals surface features including relatively dark dunes, degraded impact craters and other geologic features including small escarpments that range in size from a few feet (meters) to many tens of feet (meters) in height. The image was obtained one minute 16 seconds before touchdown. This is but one of hundreds of frames that were acquired during the descent to the surface. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. Curiosity landed inside of a crater known as Gale Crater. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
An image from the surface of Mars in sho
An image from the surface of Mars in shown as Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission manager Jennifer Trosper speaks at a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on August 6, 2012. NASA opened a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration when its $2.5 billion nuclear-powered robot Curiosity beamed back pictures from the surface of Mars. (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission di
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission director Jennifer Trosper speaks at a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on August 6, 2012. NASA opened a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration when its $2.5 billion nuclear-powered robot Curiosity beamed back pictures from the surface of Mars. (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission di
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission director Jennifer Trosper speaks at a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on August 6, 2012. NASA opened a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration when its $2.5 billion nuclear-powered robot Curiosity beamed back pictures from the surface of Mars. (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
An image of the Mars Rover Curiosity gli
An image of the Mars Rover Curiosity gliding on its parachute as it descends to the surface of Mars is shown at a press conference by Michael Malin (C), Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) principal investigator Jennifer Trosper (L), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission director, and Joy Crisp, MSL deputy project, on August 6, 2012 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The image of Curiosity descending on its parachute was taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). NASA opened a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration when its $2.5 billion nuclear-powered robot Curiosity beamed back pictures from the surface of Mars. (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
Mars Descent Imager principal investigat
Mars Descent Imager principal investigator Michael Malin (C), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission director Jennifer Trosper (L) and MSL deputy project scientist Joy Crisp discuss an image sent by the Mars Rover Curiosity showing the heat shield falling away from the Rover (not in photo) as it descents toward the Martian surface at a press conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on August 6, 2012. NASA opened a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration when its $2.5 billion nuclear-powered robot Curiosity beamed back pictures from the surface of Mars. (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona via Getty Images)
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Holds Viewing Of Mars Curiosity Rover Landing
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided byNASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona, NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute are seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descends to the surface of Mars August 5, 2012. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Holds Viewing Of Mars Curiosity Rover Landing
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on the evening of August 5, 2012 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Holds Viewing Of Mars Curiosity Rover Landing
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on the evening of August 5, 2012 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Holds Viewing Of Mars Curiosity Rover Landing
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on the evening of August 5, 2012 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Holds Viewing Of Mars Curiosity Rover Landing
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on the evening of August 5, 2012 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)
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