NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity successfully landed on the Red Planet at 10:32 p.m. PDT on August 5, 2012 (1:32 a.m. EDT on August 6, 2012). in the Gale Crater on Mars. The one-ton rover touched down onto the Red Planet and began its two-year investigation.
Fig: First images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover, colorized (NASA / JPL-Caltech)
These were the first images taken by the rover, which landed on Mars the morning of Aug. 6, 2012. They were taken through a ‘fisheye’ wide-angle lens on rover’s rear cameras at one-quarter of full resolution. The clear dust cover on cameras is still on in these views.
As planned, the rover’s early engineering images were lower resolution. Larger color images were expected later in the week when the rover’s mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, was deployed.
Fig: Geological diversity at Curiosity’s landing site (NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU)
The area where NASA’s Curiosity rover landed has a geological diversity that scientists are eager to investigate, as seen in this false-color map based on data from NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.