Just days after landing on the Red Planet, the Curiosity rover has begun beaming back stunning images of the Martian surface. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is also being utilised to create the images.
Navcams attached to the Curiosity rover have so far taken a self-portrait of the rover and a 360-degree view of the Gale Crater, which is the home of the Curiosity rover. Two high-resolution images have also been made available and show detailed images of the surface.
John Grotzinger, project scientist for the mission from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said:
“These Navcam images indicate that our powered descent stage did more than give us a great ride, it gave our science team an amazing freebie.”
“The thrust from the rockets actually dug a one-and-a-half-foot-long [0.5 meter] trench in the surface. It appears we can see Martian bedrock on the bottom. Its depth below the surface is valuable data we can use going forward.”
The Context Camera aboard the MRO has beamed back a set of six images which show the landing place of six entry ballast masses.
Images are available here.