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Friday, August 10,2012

NASA: Curiosity rover is ‘a precursor to sending humans to Mars’

The photo-snapping rover Curiosity returned another postcard from Mars on Thursday — the first 360-degree color panorama of Gale Crater.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

NASA’s Curiosity rover continues to wow followers, releasing a string of magnificent photos since landing on the surface of Mars late Sunday.

In a statement released by the U.S. space agency on Thursday, officials said they will use the photos to further analyze the area in which the rover currently sits idle.

“Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray,” NASA wrote on its website. “These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.”

Read more at The Petri Dish.

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