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NASA's Curiosity rover transmits its first high resolution image of Mars

NASA via Reuters

About two hours after landing on Mars and beaming back its first image, NASA's Curiosity rover transmitted a higher-resolution image of its new Martian home, Gale Crater, on August 6, 2012. Mission Control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, received the image, taken by one of the vehicle's lower-fidelity, black-and-white Hazard Avoidance Cameras – or Hazcams.

Alan Boyle, NBC News reports from Pasadena, Calif. — After eight years of planning and eight months of interplanetary travel, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory pulled off a touchdown of Super Bowl proportions, all by itself. It even sent pictures from the goal line.

The spacecraft plunged through Mars' atmosphere, fired up a rocket-powered platform and lowered the car-sized, 1-ton Curiosity rover to its landing spot in 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer-wide) Gale Crater. Then the platform flew off to its own crash landing, while Curiosity sent out a text message basically saying, "I made it!" Continue reading.

Peter Foley / EPA

Spectators in New York's Times Square react as they watch the announcement of the Mars science rover Curiosity's successfully landing on the planet Mars, in New York on August 6, 2012.

More about Mars:

Brian Van Der Brug / Pool via AP

Brian Schratz hugs a colleague as he celebrates a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif..

Brian Van Der Brug / AP

Activity lead Bobak Ferdowsi, center, wipes tears away inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility after the successful landing.

NASA

Earlier, low-resolution images from the Curiosity rover.

Click through pictures of auroral displays, interplanetary views and other space highlights from July 2012.

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