<p><strong>Following the <a href="http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/">Curiosity rover</a>'s successful landing on <a href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/mars-article/">Mars</a> last week, the world held its breath for the first images the rover transmitted from the planet's surface.</strong></p><p>One of the <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/">NASA</a> rover's eight hazard-avoidance cameras shot this black-and-white picture of Curiosity's own shadow stretching toward Mount Sharp on August 6.</p><p>Centered in Gale Crater, the 18,000-foot (5,500-meter) peak "is taller than any mountain in the lower 48 [U.S.] states," geologist <a href="http://www.gps.caltech.edu/people/grotz/profile">John Grotzinger</a>, part of the Curiosity team, said at a July 16 press conference.</p><p>The goal is for the rover—also called the Mars Science Laboratory—to climb Mount Sharp and analyze layers spanning all of Mars's major geological epochs.</p><p>(Related: <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/pictures/120807-first-color-pictures-nasa-space-mars-science-laboratory/#/first-pictures-new-mars-rover-mountain_58038_600x450.jpg">"First Color Mars-Rover Pictures Space Shots of Crashed Gear."</a>)</p><p><em>—Kastalia Medrano</em></p>

First Look

Following the Curiosity rover's successful landing on Mars last week, the world held its breath for the first images the rover transmitted from the planet's surface.

One of the NASA rover's eight hazard-avoidance cameras shot this black-and-white picture of Curiosity's own shadow stretching toward Mount Sharp on August 6.

Centered in Gale Crater, the 18,000-foot (5,500-meter) peak "is taller than any mountain in the lower 48 [U.S.] states," geologist John Grotzinger, part of the Curiosity team, said at a July 16 press conference.

The goal is for the rover—also called the Mars Science Laboratory—to climb Mount Sharp and analyze layers spanning all of Mars's major geological epochs.

(Related: "First Color Mars-Rover Pictures Space Shots of Crashed Gear.")

—Kastalia Medrano

Image courtesy MSSS/Caltech/NASA

Space Pictures This Week: Mars Touchdown, Odd Moon, More

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