NASA updates us on Curiosity's progress (+ slideshow)

The weekend "brain transplant" went off without a hitch & scientists will be busy readying the rover for a first drive within the next week

  • The first 360-degree color panorama of the Gale Crater taken by the Curiosity Rover’s Mastcam. Image credit: NASA

  • In this particular image, you can see a mountain called Mount Sharp in the distance, toward the left. Mount Sharp, located in the center of the Gale Crater, is one of Curiosity’s scientific mission targets. Image credit: NASA

  • The rover also took a picture that shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater, the section of the planet where Curiosity touched down. The image is murky because the dust cover on the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) hasn't been removed. During the descent dust kicked up by the Sky Crane's rockets coated the lens, but the protective cover will be removed in the coming weeks. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

  • During Curiosity's descent the passing Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped a shot of the rover's supersonic parachute, which was designed to slow the rover from 900 miles per hour to around 200 miles per hour. The seperated heat shield can also be seen falling towards the surface. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

  • This is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover. Image credit: NASA

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