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NASA releases 1st color picture, video sent from Mars rover

(Xinhua)

11:06, August 08, 2012

This picture of the Martian landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover puts a color view obtained by the rover in the context of a computer simulation derived from images acquired from orbiting spacecraft. The view looks north, showing a distant ridge that is the north wall and rim of Gale Crater. The color image was obtained by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on Aug. 6 PDT (Aug. 7 UTC), the first Martian day after Curiosity's landing on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 UTC).

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- A vivid scene of sandy plain on the rim of Gale Crater was faithfully captured by the latest Mars rover Curiosity as NASA published the first of a batch of color pictures the vehicle beamed back on Tuesday.

The beaming of the picture, as well as a low-resolution video, suggests that the vehicle had a "very exciting ride to the surface, " NASA announced in a prepared statement.

"These images will help the mission scientists interpret the rover's surroundings, the rover drivers in planning for future drives across the surface, as well as assist engineers in their design of forthcoming landing systems for Mars or other worlds," NASA added.

The photograph showed a pebbly landscape and the rim of Gale Crater off in the distance. In the video depicting the final 2 1/2 minutes of Curiosity's descent onto the Martian terrain, the craft can be seen against a large swath of mountains in the background.

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