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Pictures | Tue Aug 7, 2012 | 9:45am EDT

Mission to Mars

<p>The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, captures the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descends towards its landing site at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. REUTERS/NASA/Mars Science Laboratory</p>

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, captures the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descends towards its landing site at Gale...more

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter, captures the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descends towards its landing site at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. REUTERS/NASA/Mars Science Laboratory

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<p>The first color landscape image of Mars from Curiosity shows the landscape to the north and was acquired by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the afternoon of the first day after landing on August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA</p>

The first color landscape image of Mars from Curiosity shows the landscape to the north and was acquired by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the afternoon of the first day after landing on August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA

The first color landscape image of Mars from Curiosity shows the landscape to the north and was acquired by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the afternoon of the first day after landing on August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA

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<p>Jasper Goldberg (L), 22, and Andreas Bastian, 22, watch a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, August 6, 2012. 

REUTERS/Andrew Burton </p>

Jasper Goldberg (L), 22, and Andreas Bastian, 22, watch a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Jasper Goldberg (L), 22, and Andreas Bastian, 22, watch a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

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<p>Adam Steltzner (R) celebrates the successful landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity, inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. 

REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool </p>

Adam Steltzner (R) celebrates the successful landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity, inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

Adam Steltzner (R) celebrates the successful landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity, inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

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<p>Steve Collins waits during the "seven minutes of terror" as the Mars science rover Curiosity approaches the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool </p>

Steve Collins waits during the "seven minutes of terror" as the Mars science rover Curiosity approaches the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool more

Steve Collins waits during the "seven minutes of terror" as the Mars science rover Curiosity approaches the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

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<p>Dust being blown up as NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity prepares to land on Gale Crater on Mars is captured by the Mars Descent Imager on the rover, August 6, 2012. 


REUTERS/NASA-JPL/Handout </p>

Dust being blown up as NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity prepares to land on Gale Crater on Mars is captured by the Mars Descent Imager on the rover, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/NASA-JPL/Handout

Dust being blown up as NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity prepares to land on Gale Crater on Mars is captured by the Mars Descent Imager on the rover, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/NASA-JPL/Handout

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<p>NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity's heat shield is pictured by the Mars Descent Imager after it was jettisoned, August 5, 2012. 
REUTERS/NASA-JPL-Calthech/Handout</p>

NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity's heat shield is pictured by the Mars Descent Imager after it was jettisoned, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/NASA-JPL-Calthech/Handout

NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity's heat shield is pictured by the Mars Descent Imager after it was jettisoned, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/NASA-JPL-Calthech/Handout

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<p>Brian Schratz hugs a colleague as he celebrates a successful landing of the Curiosity rover, inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover in Pasadena, August 5, 2012.

REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool </p>

Brian Schratz hugs a colleague as he celebrates a successful landing of the Curiosity rover, inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool more

Brian Schratz hugs a colleague as he celebrates a successful landing of the Curiosity rover, inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

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<p>Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover team member Miguel San Martin (C) waves an American flag after a successful rover landing, as he arrives for a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena,  August 5, 2012. 
REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover team member Miguel San Martin (C) waves an American flag after a successful rover landing, as he arrives for a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser more

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover team member Miguel San Martin (C) waves an American flag after a successful rover landing, as he arrives for a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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<p>Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover deputy project manager Richard Cook (L) and Pete Theisinger, project manager, congratulate their team memebers after a successful rover landing, during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012.   REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover deputy project manager Richard Cook (L) and Pete Theisinger, project manager, congratulate their team memebers after a successful rover landing, during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in...more

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover deputy project manager Richard Cook (L) and Pete Theisinger, project manager, congratulate their team memebers after a successful rover landing, during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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<p>Julian Anderson (front, C) of Detroit, celebrates while watching a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, August 6, 2012. 

 REUTERS/Andrew Burton </p>

Julian Anderson (front, C) of Detroit, celebrates while watching a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Julian Anderson (front, C) of Detroit, celebrates while watching a live broadcast of the NASA Mission Control center, as the planetary rover "Curiosity" lands on Mars, in Time Square, August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

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<p>Jennifer Trosper, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission manager, points out the communications antenna on a model of NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity as she speaks during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California August 6, 2012.   REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>

Jennifer Trosper, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission manager, points out the communications antenna on a model of NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity as she speaks during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California...more

Jennifer Trosper, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission manager, points out the communications antenna on a model of NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity as she speaks during a news conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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<p>Kelley Clarke (L), celebrates as the first pictures appear on screen after a successful landing of the Curiosity rover, inside the MSL Mission Support Area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. 

REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool </p>

Kelley Clarke (L), celebrates as the first pictures appear on screen after a successful landing of the Curiosity rover, inside the MSL Mission Support Area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der...more

Kelley Clarke (L), celebrates as the first pictures appear on screen after a successful landing of the Curiosity rover, inside the MSL Mission Support Area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

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<p>In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. . REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV</p>

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. . REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. . REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV

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<p>Telecom engineer Peter Ilott (front R) hugs a colleague as they celebrate the Mars science rover Curiosity's successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. 

REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool </p>

Telecom engineer Peter Ilott (front R) hugs a colleague as they celebrate the Mars science rover Curiosity's successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

Telecom engineer Peter Ilott (front R) hugs a colleague as they celebrate the Mars science rover Curiosity's successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

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<p>NASA Administrator Charles Bolden closes his eyes as the Mars science rover Curiosity begins its descent to the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012.
REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool </p>

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden closes his eyes as the Mars science rover Curiosity begins its descent to the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool...more

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden closes his eyes as the Mars science rover Curiosity begins its descent to the surface of Mars, prior to a successful landing, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

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<p>An image taken by NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity shows what lies ahead for the rover --- its main science target, Mount Sharp, in this handout image released by NASA August 6, 2012. The rover's shadow can be seen in the foreground, and the dark bands beyond are dunes. Rising up in the distance is the the distance is the highest peak Mount Sharp at a height of about 3.4 miles, taller than Mt. Whitney in California. The Curiosity team hopes to drive the rover to the mountain to investigate its lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change. This image was captured by the rover's front left Hazard-Avoidance camera at full resolution shortly after it landed. It has been linearized to remove the distorted appearance that results from its fisheye lens. REUTERS/NASA-JPL-Calthech/Handout</p>

An image taken by NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity shows what lies ahead for the rover --- its main science target, Mount Sharp, in this handout image released by NASA August 6, 2012. The rover's shadow can be seen in the foreground, and the dark...more

An image taken by NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity shows what lies ahead for the rover --- its main science target, Mount Sharp, in this handout image released by NASA August 6, 2012. The rover's shadow can be seen in the foreground, and the dark bands beyond are dunes. Rising up in the distance is the the distance is the highest peak Mount Sharp at a height of about 3.4 miles, taller than Mt. Whitney in California. The Curiosity team hopes to drive the rover to the mountain to investigate its lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change. This image was captured by the rover's front left Hazard-Avoidance camera at full resolution shortly after it landed. It has been linearized to remove the distorted appearance that results from its fisheye lens. REUTERS/NASA-JPL-Calthech/Handout

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<p>One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of August 5, 2012, is seen in this handout low resolution image released by NASA. It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's Hazard-Avoidance cameras. These engineering cameras are located at the rover's base. The Mars science rover Curiosity landed on the Martian


 REUTERS/Courtesy NASA</p>

One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of August 5, 2012, is seen in this handout low resolution image released by NASA. It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's...more

One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of August 5, 2012, is seen in this handout low resolution image released by NASA. It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's Hazard-Avoidance cameras. These engineering cameras are located at the rover's base. The Mars science rover Curiosity landed on the Martian REUTERS/Courtesy NASA

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<p>Activity lead Bobak Ferdowsi (C) wipes tears away after the successful landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity, inside the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission Support Area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. 
REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool </p>

Activity lead Bobak Ferdowsi (C) wipes tears away after the successful landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity, inside the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission Support Area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012....more

Activity lead Bobak Ferdowsi (C) wipes tears away after the successful landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity, inside the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission Support Area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Brian van der Brug/Pool

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<p>The Mars Science Laboratory team in the MSL Mission Support Area reacts after learning the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Bill Ingalls/NASA</p>

The Mars Science Laboratory team in the MSL Mission Support Area reacts after learning the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Bill Ingalls/NASA more

The Mars Science Laboratory team in the MSL Mission Support Area reacts after learning the Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars and images start coming into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Bill Ingalls/NASA

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