This morning, NASA released the first "true-color" shot from the Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on Sunday night. Curiosity sent the image of the ridge of the north wall of Gale Crater more than 352 million miles back to earth. From NASA:
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 Aug. 6, 2012.)
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 during checkout of the robotic arm in coming weeks.
The camera is fixed on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm with a transparent dust cover, which was closed when the image above was taken.
According to NASA, the MAHLI camera's main objective is to take hi-resolution, close-up images of rocks and soil at the Crater site.
Check out NASA's timelapse of the rover landing on the planet on Sunday night:
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