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.

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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

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