By Kalwinder Kaur
NASA's Curiosity rover and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have generated significant image sets that will explain Curiosity's landing and its first days on Mars.
Navcams, Curiosity's newly-activated navigation cameras, generate images that represent the first self-portrait of the rover that shows as if it is peeping down at its deck from atop. Another picture showing Navcam image set in lower-resolution thumbnails represent the first ever 360-degree view of the new habitat of Curiosity within Gale Crater. Also, two higher-resolution Navcams were downlinked, showing a clear-cut portrayal of the surface adjacent to the rover.
According to California Institute of Technology Pasadena project scientist for the mission, John Grotzinger, these Navcam images replicate the capability of the powered descent stage in addition to providing the researchers with a great ride. The force propelled from the rockets dug a 0.5 m trench in the surface. The scientists envision Martian bedrock on the bottom. Its depth underneath the surface is a key data that can foster other related researchers.
Context Camera (CTX) onboard NASA's MRO generated another image set that shows the final resting spots of the six entry ballast masses weighing 55-lb. The tungsten masses had hit the Martian surface at a high velocity of around 7.5-mi from Curiosity's landing site.