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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.
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what do you think?
Come on Curiousity. . Find us Proof of Life. . Then all faiths will have to reimagine their creation myths. If we all come from Adam & Eve (or Lilith) why does the book of Genesis not mention Martian microbes ?
Do you think that if they did show life existed the power crazed leaders of some faiths would admit. Now if they found life the US would do a deal for prospecting rights and try to impose a democratic apple pie eating regime.
Don't give the religious nutters food for thought Stevie, they will only try and get the credit for that as well! Mind you, wasn't Mars a Roman God? If so start searching for an amphitheatre!
Not all faiths Stevie, some of the ancient or extinct religions(extinct due to certain middle eastern based religions being forced on to the general population of earth) are full of tales that life either started on exo-planets or was influenced by travelers from the sky. In the case of the native Americans "sky brothers". Now people may say that because they are primitive people and didn't understand the world around them. Or that Western people have interpreted their "myths" to suit their science fiction. But when some of these "primitive people" had knowledge of Jupiters moon's and Saturn's ring system long before Galileo invented the telescope or that Sirius is actually a binary star system made up of one massive star and a smaller almost invisible partner(something that wasn't verified till the 1970s) makes you think is all were taught about life on earth real?
You want an amphitheatre roger? We could always use the Olympic stadium
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Bet this is the Nevada dessert am sure I saw a hot dog stand and Kentucky Chicken advert. Jokes apart how come they can land a vehicle on Mars with such accuracy but make a hash of everything else.
They said its like the Mojave desert in California. The problem I have with them saying this is that NASA actually trained the operators using a replica of curiosity in the Mojave desert. The only thing so far saving NASA was the photo of sun rise on mars due to how small the sun was on the horizon