After traveling some 350 million miles and executing a flawless supersonic-parachute-and-sky-crane-assisted touchdown on the Red Planet, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is just kicking back and relaxing for a few days.
The rover Curiosity, with nearly 900,000 Twitter followers, had a strong Internet presence even before its launch to Mars. Scientists hope this will lead to more student interest in science – and more funding.
A panoramic view of Mars sent back to Earth from NASA's Curiosity rover shows a terrain scientists describe as similar to the Mojave Desert in Southern California. Curiosity will begin a four-day software upgrade over the weekend.
In 2014, Curiosity and MAVEN are slated to team up to help scientists unravel the mystery behind Mars' vanishing atmosphere: How did a wet, warm planet lose that thin layer that can preserve the building blocks of life?