NASA's Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars on Monday and it's amazing journey is just getting started. New photos and videos taken by the rover have been released as the large mobile lab documents it's trip on the red planet.
As a fun way to share updates from Curiosity, the rover has its own Twitter account which posts status updates, photos and even videos. The first few photos that were released were low resolution and did not reveal much other than the wheel of the rover on Mars.
Now, Curiosity is starting to take photos that show more of it's surroundings. On Monday evening, the above photo of Curiosity's shadow on Mars was posted to the Twitter account with a tweet that read "Me & My Shadow... & Mount Sharp. My view of the 3-mile-high mountain in the middle of Mars' Gale crater."
Before that amazing photo was posted, a photo taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter showed Curiosity landing on Mars by parachute.
However, a more recent update is even more amazing. A video, taken by Curiosity rover itself, shows its descent onto Mars. The @MarsCuriosity Twitter account posted the video saying "Look out below! What descent to the surface of Mars looked like from my POV." The video is compiled of 297 frames that were shot during the last two-and-a-half minutes of the rover's journey. The video is not crystal clear or of good quality, but it does give a viewer a sense of how fast the rover was traveling as it descended onto the planet.
NASA's Curiosity mission cost $2.5 billion and took several years to accomplish. The mobile lab weighs a ton and is as big as a car. The rover will complete a two year mission on Mars in which it searches for any signs of possible early life, such as water and carbon molecules. The rover will use several tools such as cameras, a rock-vaporizing laser and others to record data from the planet.
The @MarsCuriosity Twitter account already has over 725,000 followers as it posts updates throughout the day, showing it's progress. The account is run by three NASA staff members led by NASA social media manager Veronica McGregor.
Using its technology, Curiosity will soon take even more amazing, high definition photos which will be in color.