Mars

New Mars Photos Start Transmitting Back to Earth

The nuclear-powered Curiosity will dig into the Martian surface to analyze what's there and hunt for some of the molecular building blocks of life, including carbon.

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NASA celebrated the precision landing of a rover on Mars and marveled over the mission's first photographs Monday — grainy, black-and-white images of Martian gravel, a mountain at sunset and, most exciting of all, the spacecraft's white-knuckle plunge through the red planet's atmosphere.

Curiosity, a roving laboratory the size of a compact car, landed right on target late Sunday night after an eight-month, 352-million-mile journey.

Cheers and applause echoed through NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and engineers hugged, high-fived and thrust their fists in the air after signals from space ind