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NASA reveals Curiosity descent video and new Mars photos

NASA reveals Curiosity descent video and new Mars photos

NASA has released new photos of the surface of Mars as well as video of Curiosity's dramatic landing on the Martian surface, as the rover begins its long mission to explore for evidence of life. The video, pieced together from a photo sequence captured by the Hazcam cameras used for guidance and navigation, shows some of dusty descent from Curiosity's point-of-view, while the new gallery of stills helps confirm where, exactly, on the topography of Mars the rover has arrived.

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Curiosity landing photo from NASA’s Mars Orbiter revealed

Curiosity landing photo from NASA’s Mars Orbiter revealed

The first photo of the Curiosity lander making its final journey through the Martian atmosphere has emerged, a rare image of the huge parachute used to slow the Skycrane and its expensive cargo. The picture was captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and though low-resolution clearly shows the dangling cradle beneath the 16m wide "supersonic parachute" that slowed it from around 578 m/s to 100 m/s.

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Curiosity rover tags Mars with Morse tire tracks

Curiosity rover tags Mars with Morse tire tracks

NASA's Curiosity rover may not look like an urban menace, but the robot explorer will in fact be steadily tagging the Martian surface as it trundles, leaving a name-check of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory back home. The clandestine graffiti is thanks to part of the rover's visual odometry system, John Graham-Cumming points out, which tracks the marks left by a series of asymmetrically arranged holes in the wheels. The position of those holes, however, isn't random: in fact, it's Morse Code.

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NASA Curiosity sends back more detailed view of Mars

NASA Curiosity sends back more detailed view of Mars

Curiosity's main cameras may not be due to come online until they've unfurled later this week, but the Mars rover is already beaming back better shots now that it has whipped off the dust protection. The first batch of photos from the freshly-landed rover were fuzzy - thanks to a combination of dust whirls from the Skycrane lander and the protective covers on the cameras themselves - but as things settle and Curiosity whirs into life, the images are getting a lot clearer.

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NASA’s Curiosity is biggest Mars mission yet (in more ways than one)

NASA’s Curiosity is biggest Mars mission yet (in more ways than one)

Safely landed on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover dwarfs its robot predecessors by a factor of 2:1, though we'll need to wait for it to take off its lenscap before we get a proper look at the Martian surface. Measuring 3m long, the six-wheeled Curiosity is double the size of the previous Exploration rovers and uses its heft to carry fifteen times heftier instruments with which it will check for evidence of life on the red planet.

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First Mars photos projected back from Curiosity Rover

First Mars photos projected back from Curiosity Rover

Less than an hour ago, NASA accomplished a new feat of engineering supremacy with the landing of the Curiosity Rover to the surface of Mars - and the first photos from that craft have been sent back to Earth already. As it was revealed about and around the landing sequence for this craft, the delay between the tech on the planet now and us here at home on Earth is about 14 minutes. What we're seeing now are photos taken from the Curiosity River and projected back to our planet in less than a half hour - fresh as we've ever seen them!

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NASA Mars Rover Curiosity makes a perfect landing

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity makes a perfect landing

Over the past few weeks we've been watching NASA's work with their newest Mars Rover to make its way to the red planet. Three hundred and fifty million miles away from Earth, Curiosity landed on the planet after having worked through the sequence outlined by the group over the past few weeks. This mission was launched on the 26th of November, 2011, and has make its landing here on the 5th of August, 2012 with flying colors.

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NASA Curiosity Mars landing live video feed live in last half-hour

NASA Curiosity Mars landing live video feed live in last half-hour

Over the past few weeks we've been prepping for the big day - today - when NASA releases the Curiosity Mars Rover to the red planet with live feeds from all directions. If you're currently tuning in, you'll want to head over to http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl and watch live and direct from NASA. Once you've watched the whole set of events, head back to SlashGear to see our full report on the landing.

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Countdown to Mars: Thoughts from a NASA Curiosity engineer

Countdown to Mars: Thoughts from a NASA Curiosity engineer

This weekend we will see Curiosity attempt a dramatic Mars landing inside of Gale Crater. Its mission will be to study the Martian rocks to determine how they were formed and try to answer whether conditions on Mars once could have supported life in its most simple form – tiny, microbial cells. The rover’s intended destination after landing is a series of layered rock outcrops on the slopes of Mount Sharp. These layers were spied from orbit only a few years ago and appear to provide a geological record of Mars spanning hundreds of millions of years that Curiosity can spend months touring and reading back to us on Earth. With Curiosity’s hypersonic entry guidance, this is the first Mars rover that could safely land inside Gale and reach these layers.

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SlashGear 101: NASA’s Curiosity Mars Landing Start to Finish

SlashGear 101: NASA’s Curiosity Mars Landing Start to Finish

In order for you to be prepared for the NASA Curiosity rover mission to Mars that's going to touch down - if all goes according to plan - on August 5th, we've put this simple guide together for you! What you'll find here is a step-by-step showing of how the landing will occur as well as a round-up of some interesting promotions and videos NASA has worked up to make sure the whole world knows about the landing. The NASA Curiosity rover Mars landing livestream video will be popping up tomorrow in the evening - get knowledgeable right now!

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