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This "thumbnail" image illustrates the size of the first image expected from NASA's Curiosity rover.

Thumbnail of Mars

This "thumbnail" image illustrates the size of the first image expected from NASA's Curiosity rover. It was taken by a rover engineering model during a test session in the Mars Yard at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The rover model snapped the picture through the "fisheye" lens of one of its Hazard-Avoidance cameras. The thumbnail, which is 64 pixels by 64 pixels, is a smaller version of a larger image acquired by the hazard camera (full-resolution images are 1,024 by 1,024 pixels).

When Curiosity lands at 10:31 p.m. Aug. 5 PDT (1:31 a.m. Aug. 6 EDT), it will most likely not send any images back until about two hours after landing, during a second pass of NASA's signal-relaying Odyssey orbiter. However, it's possible the rover will beam back just a thumbnail the same size as this one shortly after landing.

During the second Odyssey pass, larger hazard camera images up to one-half of full resolution are expected.

As planned, Curiosity's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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