New York: NASA celebrated the precision landing of a rover on Mars and marvelled over the mission's first photographs on Monday.
The first grainy, black-and-white images sent back by the 'Curiosity' rover show Martian gravel, with nearby landmark Mount Sharp visible in the background.
Mount Sharp is three miles tall (4.8 kilometres) and nearly 96 miles (154.5 kilometres) around.
In addition to the photographs, scientists released a low-resolution video of the spacecraft's plunge through the red planet's atmosphere.
Curiosity, a roving laboratory the size of a compact car, landed right on target late on Sunday night after an eight-month, 556 million (m) kilometre (345.5 million (m) mile) journey.
Mission manager Jennifer Trosper says the next steps involve "waking up" Curiosity for its first full day on the red planet.
"They're building the sequences that we're going to send to the rover in about two hours," Trosper says.
Scientists will then activate the rover's high-gain antenna to improve direct communication between Curiosity and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Story first published:
August 07, 2012 10:49 IST