Visible from space: Curiosity tire tracks on Mars

Visible from space: Curiosity tire tracks on Mars

Credit: Getty Images

ON MARS - AUGUST 9: In this handout image provided by NASA and released on August 9, 2012, a color image from NASA's Curiosity Rover shows the pebble-covered surface of Mars. This is a portion of the first color 360-degree panorama from NASA's Curiosity rover, made up of thumbnails, which are small copies of higher-resolution images. The mission's destination, a mountain at the center of Gale Crater called Mount Sharp, can be seen in the distance, to the left, beginning to rise up. The mountain's summit will be imaged later. Blast marks from the rover's descent stage are in the foreground.

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by Seth Borenstein

Associated Press

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- NASA's robotic rover Curiosity is making its mark on Mars. Its tracks are big enough to be seen from space.

In just one month, it's driven 368 feet on the red planet, slightly more than the length of a football field. Curiosity's slightly zig-zaggy tire tracks were photographed by a NASA satellite circling Mars and also from the rover's rear-facing cameras.

The spacecraft landed on Aug. 5 on a mission to look for ingredients that could support life.

Mission manager Michael Watkins said Thursday that the rover team gave each other high fives when the images arrived.

Curiosity won't be traveling more for several days. Engineers will spend the next week checking out the rover's crucial robotic arm and scientific instruments.

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