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Mars Curiosity Rover Sends Panorama Pictures
Mars rover Curiosity has taken a break from instrument checks to beam back a stunning 360-degree view of its location on the Red Planet.
The panorama image was patched together with 130 separate photographs taken with newly-activated navigation cameras.
It shows a rust-coloured, pebble-strewn expanse stretching to a wall of the Gale Crater's rim in one direction and a tall mound of layered rock in another.
That formation, named Mount Sharp, stands at the centre of the vast impact crater and several miles from where Curiosity touched down earlier this week.
The layers of exposed rock there could reveal whether the Red Planet might once have supported life.
But the six-wheeled Curiosity, which is the size of a small car, will be put through weeks of "health checks" by Nasa scientists based at mission control in Florida before it can get to work analysing samples.
The $2.5bn (£1.6bn) Curiosity project, formally named the Mars Science Laboratory, is Nasa's first astrobiology mission since the Viking probes of the 1970s and is touted as the first fully-equipped mobile lab ever sent to a distant world.
The mission, which saw it travel across hundreds of millions of miles of space, has been hailed an "unprecedented" technological feat.
However, back on Earth, Nasa is licking its wounds after a rocket-powered test craft crashed and burned at Kennedy Space Centre.
The spider-like $7m spacecraft called Morpheus - designed as a potential vehicle for landing small probes on planets or asteroids - had just risen to the air on a test flight when it tilted, fell and burst into flames.
Nobody was hurt in the accident on Thursday but Nasa said the craft was beyond repair.