NASA’s Mars rover Curiousity has successfully raised its mast camera and sent back new images of the Red Planet.
• Curiosity’s is NASA’s most expensive and ambitious mission yet to the red planet
• Two year mission will look for signs of past life on Mars
The car-sized rover landed on Sunday night in the Gale Crater after an intricate landing operation which saw it lowered by cable from a hovering rocket-powered spacecraft.
In the latest photos, Curiosity looks out toward the northern horizon. Nearby were scour marks in the surface blasted by thrusters.
Since landing, Curiosity has sent home a stream of low-resolution pictures taken by tiny cameras under the chassis and another at the end of its robotic arm, which remained stowed. It also sent back a low-quality video glimpsing the last 150 seconds of its descent.
The rover successfully raised its mast packed with high-resolution and navigation cameras. With the mast up, it can begin its picture-capturing days in earnest, including taking a 360-degree colour view of its surroundings.
Curiosity will spend the next two years examining rocks and soil in search of the chemical ingredients of life.
Its ultimate destination is a mountain towering from the centre of the crater floor. Preliminary estimates indicate Curiosity landed four miles away from the base of Mount Sharp, thought to contain intriguing signs of past water - a starting point to learning whether microbial life could exist.
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