This image, while in black and white, was taken by a hazard-avoidance camera on the front end of the Curiosity rover. The rover is pointed at Aeolis Mons, informally known as Mounts Sharp, named for Robert Sharp, a pioneer of robotic Mars exploration. (NASA)
PASADENA, Calif. - An American spacecraft flying in Martian orbit spotted the Curiosity rover inside gaping Gale Crater and the parts it jettisoned during its dive to planet's surface.
NASA officials released what they call "a crime scene photo" of Curiosity and its heat shield, parachute, sky crane.
Engineers also are testing rover systems and science experiments, preparing Curiosity for its two-year mission to search for the building blocks of life.
NASA also released the first full-color image from a camera on the Mars rover Curiosity today, a reddish orange landscape shot obscured by a dust cover over the lens.
The agency is working to release photographs and other visuals from the rover's descent and its first day on the surface of the planet, but top priority remains beaming back checkout data on the health of the systems and instruments on the spacecraft.