Curiosity Beams Back Stunning Mars Images, Human Voice

Posted August 28th, 2012 at 6:46 pm (UTC-4)

This photo of the base of Mount Sharp, represents a chapter of the layered geological history of Mars. (Photo: ASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This photo of the base of Mount Sharp shows the layered geology of Mars. (NASA)

NASA’s Curiosity rover has beamed back spectacular HD photos of the Martian surface.

Captured by a 100-millimeter telephoto lens and 34-milllimeter wide angle lens, the images show the dark dunes,  layered rock and canyons of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside Gale Crater, where the rover landed.

NASA also released photos of Curiosity at work as it prepares to explore the Red Planet.

In another feat, Curiosity received and beamed back the first human voice transmission to travel from Earth to another planet and back.

The voice was that of NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden. The message was radioed to Mars, where it was received and then retransmitted back to Earth by Curiosity. Here on Earth, the return signal from Mars was picked up by NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN).

Photo was taken to test the 100-mm Mast Camera on NASA's Curiosity rover. Up close in the image is the gravelly area around the rover's landing site in the distance is Mt. Sharp, Curiosity's eventual destination. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

Up close is the gravelly area around the rover’s landing site while in the distance is Mt. Sharp, Curiosity’s eventual destination. (NASA)

This image taken by the Mast Camera (MastCam) on NASA's Curiosity rover highlights the interesting geology of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside Gale Crater, where the rover landed. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This image highlights the varied geology of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside Gale Crater, where the rover landed. (NASA)

The two donut-shaped tracks make an infinity symbol, and mark the first two drives (08/22/12 & 08/27/12) of NASA's Curiosity rover. The landing site is at the far right. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The two donut-shaped tracks make an infinity symbol and mark Curiosity’s first two drives. The landing site is at the far right. (NASA)

In his message, Bolden noted the difficulties of putting a rover on Mars and congratulated NASA employees and all  involved with the project on the successful landing.  He also commented on how curiosity is what drives humans to explore.

“The knowledge we hope to gain from our observation and analysis of Gale Crater will tell us much about the possibility of life on Mars as well as the past and future possibilities for our own planet. Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future,” Bolden said in his recorded message.

The rover is also busy stretching its legs, recently taking a couple of test drives near its landing spot.

Curiosity is already sending more data from the Martian surface than all of NASA’s earlier rovers combined, the space agency said.

Members of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission listen to a voice message from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in the mission support area at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Rick Pantaleo
Rick Pantaleo maintains the Science World blog and writes stories for VOA’s web and radio on a variety of science, technology and health topics. He also occasionally appears on various VOA programs to talk about the latest scientific news. Rick joined VOA in 1992 after a 20 year career in commercial broadcasting.

22 responses to “Curiosity Beams Back Stunning Mars Images, Human Voice”

  1. Khup says:

    Nice and amazing mars photos. Thanks to VOA.

  2. Kristen B says:

    Thank you Curiosity for taking the trip that us humans cannot, Thank you for the beautiful picture and your effort to collect information on our neighbor. I hope that you find things up there that we can only dream of. Please keep up the awesome hard work that you are doing and keep sending the photos! Your are amazing.

  3. Briab R. says:

    un freakin believable, you folks at nasa are awesome, WOW…, cant believe i got to see such amazing images of Mars. Thank You, keep up the great work.

  4. boura eng says:

    that is very important to find out and hard work on other world. i deepest thank to you all , i hope that not so long we will find something more..

  5. riano baggy says:

    it’s like earth desert surface, maybe Mars a part of our earth,million years ago blown up and threw to our solar,s system. I hope we can find a good minerals in curiosty exploration.

  6. farzaneh says:

    wow, it’s really amazing, i can’t believe this is mars. thank’s to all of u for such a fantastic job.well down, keep work hard until we see new things in there.

  7. Jon Shaft says:


    • Upendar Gareri says:

      NASA is just amazing and thanks to them and curiosity we are able to see the aesthetic beauty of Mars . I believe in the coming days life on Red Planet will be possible and I know NASA will definitely be able to find the answer to the most famous question related to space , “Are we alone ?”. Thanks voa.

  8. Mordana says:

    The most interesting photos I’ve seen for years,thanks NASA,thanks VOA.

  9. KZ says:

    WOW! Amazing and Unbelievable! Human being should be proud of NASA and the guys who work to make these to take place!

  10. Alice Wolf says:

    We certainly have such a deep affinity with the Galaxy and the Universe in which we and our Solar System exist. We cannot allow ourselves to be cut off from space exploration by someone who dismisses the Moon as follows: “We’ve already been there”. I guess that was another venture that NASA didn’t do, just like every other business here in the USA. Nothing was ever accomplished by anybody or their business enterprise, right? With leadership such as this, no wonder we are heading for thermonuclear war……………………if mankind wishes to continue exploring and getting in tune with the Universe it would be wise to refrain from destroying ourselves and civilization. What part of get lost is hard to understand?

  11. TB says:

    Amazing pix. Proof that space exploration is still very vital for the betterment of humanity, in spite of those such as Obama who are too short-sighted or deliberately averse to the progress of science.

  12. Chiese says:

    It is incredible for us to see the clear photos of mars,thanks to the NASA ,thanks to the VOA .I hope I could see more interesting pictures,well done!

  13. Ariya says:

    vow! I realy cannot find the words how to express this amazing thing that I’ve never seen before. Thanks a lot for surprising photos and wish NASA have more success.

  14. Dani says:

    Looking at these truly miraculous pictures, I am reminded of the moon landing I witnessed as a child. I am fascinated by our ability to leave the only world humanity has ever known, reach for what sparkles in the night sky and actually get there. And what is found? Not a strange environment, but a remarkably Earth-like surface. All I can really say now, is WOW.

  15. S.S.Liu says:

    Deeply touched & moved while looking at these genuine photos of Mar land. Although I still wonder how big the Universe could be and what kind of value we tiny humans should be, I sincerely thank NASA and American taxpayers very much for those achievements and contributions in exploring our environment.

  16. Lepakiyo says:

    Bravo! Bravo! NASA the world is proud of you. The goldmedal for space marathon is yours.

  17. Dr Ghazi Malik says:

    Amazing! What an incredible achievement for NASA. Congratulations; America at its best!!

  18. Lepakiyo says:

    S. Liu’s mention of the American taxpayers’ contribution to NASA achievement made me feel the urgent need for the world leaders to encourage citizens of each country, as children of one planet, to contribute a dollar each once in a year to NASA to enable it even do more and faster. I remember ,would like to be corrected and forgiven if wrong, listening to a recorded speech of Al Gore, quoting an African proverb” if you want to go faster go alone but if you want to go far go together.”Let’s explore the universe together.Let NASA be a symbol of global unity.It’s already bringing us together.

  19. elio says:

    that picture was exelent by everybody know more about the moon and the earth.

  20. Why are Chinese personnel in the Room, when they could be security risk owing to China’s continuous copying of all our actions and products?

  21. Yoshi says:

    So, voice could be heard by Mar’s possibly- existing life because there is air on Mars.