Images that the inquisitiveness rover took of the surface of Mars as it made its historic descent on Monday have now been released. Observable in the timelapse is the heat shield discarded by the vehicle as it neared the ground. NASA has provided almost 300 thumbnails from a series of pictures that will eventually be run mutually as a colour hi-def picture.
The operation panel has also got its best view yet of Mount Sharp, the 5.5km-high peak sitting in the center of Gale. Images from the Mars Descent Imager (Mardi), even in their thumbnail form, have now permitted engineers to work out Curiosity's exact position on the planet - latitude of -4.5895 and a longitude of 137.4417. Satellite data has indicated that sediments at the base of Mount Sharp were laid down in the presence of abundant water.