Aug. 8, 2012 - NASA's new Mars rover Curiosity, which aced its landing early Monday, continues to impress scientists during the early checkout and commissioning phase of its planned two-year mission.
On Wednesday, scientists unveiled the rover's first two full-frame images including a stunning panorama of the northern wall and rim of Gale Crater, Curiosity's new home.
WIDE ANGLE: Curiosity Has Landed On Mars
"The first impression you get is how Earth-like this seems," lead scientist John Grotzinger told reporters Wednesday.
"You would really be forgiven for thinking that NASA was trying to pull a fast one on you and we actually put a rover out in the Mojave Desert and took a picture, a little LA smog coming in there," he said.
The rover is positioned near a pebble-strewn fan-shaped region, which on Earth is formed by downhill flowing water.
Scientists believe the same phenomena carved the feature on Mars, a theory that will be investigated once Curiosity's science mission begins in earnest.