The Curiosity Mars rover lifted its mast and used its high navigation cameras for the first time today.
The robot vehicle on Mars has successfully returned black and white images that capture sections of its own body, its shadow on the ground and views off to the horizon to earth. The images also show the rim cliffs of the crater, in which the rover landed, in the distance.
The US space agency NASA mission landed on the floor of a deep depression on Mars' equator known as Gale Crater, close to a 5.5km- high mountain.
What the mission aims to do is to take the robot to the base of this mountain where it is to search for rocks that were laid down billions of years ago in the presence of liquid water. It will then send these sediments for evidence which will help solve the age old question – Was Mars’ past environment conducive for microbial life?
Curiosity communicates with Earth by deploying information through a high-gain antenna which provides a data link to Earth additional to the UHF satellite relays it uses most of the time.