PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The ancient Martian crater where theCuriosity rover landed looks strikingly similar to the Mojave Desert in California with its looming mountains and hanging haze, scientists say.
“The first impression that you get is how Earth-like this seems looking at that landscape,” chief scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology said Wednesday.
Overnight, the car-size rover poked its head out for the first time since settling in Gale Crater, peered around and returned a black-and-white self-portrait and panorama that’s still being processed.
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.