`Martian landscape looks like Earth`
New Delhi: The raw images sent back by Mars rover Curiosity has revealed that the crater where it landed looks remarkably Earth-like, scientists said.
"The first impression that you get is how Earth-like this seems looking at that landscape," said chief scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology.
It provided the best view so far of its destination since touching down Sunday night after nailing an intricate choreography. During the last few seconds, a rocket-powered spacecraft hovered as cables lowered Curiosity to the ground.
In the latest photos, Curiosity looked out toward the northern horizon. Nearby were scour marks in the surface blasted by thrusters, which kicked up a swirl of dust. There were concerns that Curiosity got dusty, but scientists said that was not the case.
"We do see a thin coating of dust, but nothing too bad," said Justin Maki, imaging scientist at NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the USD 2.5 billion mission.
Scientists were giddy about the scour marks because they exposed bedrock below information that should help scientists better understand the landing site.
Since landing, Curiosity has zipped home a stream of low-resolution pictures taken by tiny cameras under the chassis and a camera at the end of its robotic arm, which remained stowed. It also sent back a low-quality video glimpsing the last 2 1/2 minutes of its descent.
The rover successfully raised its mast packed with high-resolution and navigation cameras. With the mast up, it can begin its shutterbug days in force including taking a 360-degree color view of its surroundings as early as today.
Grotzinger said he was struck by the Martian landscape, which appeared diverse. There seemed to be harder material underneath the gravelly surface, he said.
"It kind of makes you feel at home," he said. "We`re looking at a place that feels really comfortable."
Mars, of course, is very different from Earth. It`s a frigid desert constantly bombarded by radiation. There are geological signs that it was a warmer and wetter place once upon a time. One of the mission`s goals is to figure out how Mars transformed.
(With Agency inputs)
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Missed the dance of American President Donald Trump? - Watch it here
- Pawan, a BE student develops smart dustbin -Watch
- More than 9 lakh people participated in the oath-taking ceremony of Donald Trump
- DNA: Analyzing the harmful effects of selfies
- Report of a taxi driver who lends helping hand to patients in Mumbai
- 7th Pay Commission: Central govt employees expect Committee on Allowances report in February
- Cuttack ODI: Umpire Kumar Dharmasena messes up DRS review, twitter couldn't stop trolling
- Yuvraj Singh's wife Hazel Keech suggests new middle name for hubby Yuvi following Cuttack heroics
- Bigots at it again! Mohammed Shami called un-Islamic for posting picture with dog
- India vs England, 3rd ODI: MS Dhoni felicitated at Eden Gardens — VIDEOS INSIDE