Curiosity's First Colour 360-Degree Panorama Shows No Fighting Sailors

It's Curiosity's third day on the Gale Crater on Mars, and all systems are running as expected. There is no sign of sailors fighting in the dance hall, cavemen or any freaky show. and here's the first natural 360-degree colour panorama image to prove it.

It's a clear day on Mars. You can see Mount Sharp ahead of the rover in the distance. That's the mission final destination -- the centre of the Galer Crater. It shows some details from the rover itself:

These is the end of the robotic arm. It's like a Swiss Army Knife, containing multiple instruments like the APXS (Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer) and MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager).

Here's the wheel of the rover.

The marks of the sky crane's thrusters are clearly visible here.

And here too.

Here's the complete panorama -- 3653x755 pixels. Click to expand and see the whole thing:

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      Wow indeed, it looks just like an Earthly destination? Like you could just walk around and explore...

        I was thinking the exact same thing, it actually looks like a place i used to live, like crazily so.

        One of the things I find most alluring about Mars. It looks like you could GO there. The moon doesn't have that look.

          It is the place where you live. We still haven't left the earth! Conspiracy theory!

        You almost expect to see a cactus.

          I was looking for the Jawa Sandcrawle and a pair of droids........ :p

            Even if there had been droids, they wouldn't be the droids you were looking for. 8|

    What is so secret about the rover that they have to black it out in the photo's?

      The nuclear reactor that powers it?

        But there are press photos from NASA that show the entire duplicate rover (ie the one that they tested everything on after the sent the real one)... I smell a rat

          Isn't just the way that the photos are stitched together?

          the macdonalds advertising

        Quaaaaid! Start the reactorrrr

      I think they have just not wasted bandwidth on full colour pictures of their own rover.

        Surely their rover is not that intelligent?!

        You don't think the guys who spent billions on this thing would want to see it in it's destined environment. It'd be good to see if the rover had any hits anyway.

      The image is made up of many smaller photos. As these images would have shown nothing new nor interesting anyway, the camera merely took photos around the rover.

      Oh dear. Let's use our minds shall we? It's a panorama stitched up by various photos. The camera can't possibly move in every direction downwards - it's on something, after all. And some of the photos would just be taken slightly further left/right/up/down than others, then stitched.

      I'm sorry to sound condescending but... goodness.

        While i see your point i disagree based on the fact that there are other photos that are at a similar angle that aren't black therefore the camera can view that area. I don't believe that the rover is smart enough to work out that a photo would only show rover and therefore exclude it from transmit to earth.

          you seem to be thinking that the rover is doing this on its own, protip, its being told where to do the photos.

          Also, it can't be that hard to take the camera's direction in relation to the rover itself, take the known FOV of the camera, detect how much of the rover is in view, and just not take the picture, as seding back imagery of the rover would be a waste of valuable bandwidth.

            protip hey... what makes you think they would do it with separate commands... i would think that is unlikely.

        Totally agree.
        It's an artifact of the process. Not sure what Ryan is trying to get at - new mission, new conspiracy perhaps?

    Seeing the wheel is just awesome, something man made driving about an alien world. Part of me wishes they could get a UAV to fly about the planet but I guess that's not really practical.

    Is it just me, or is there a certain irony in the fact that Curiousity was built inside the completely dust free environment of a NASA laboratory?

      The primary purpose of constructing space-bound craft and machinery in dust-free environments is to prevent microbes , bacteria, or other earth-native lifeforms from contaminating the environment in which the unit will be operating.

      Not really. All electronic equipment is ideally built in clean dust free environments so as not to damage anything. In this case it's the same as any normal 4x4 off road vehicle. In other words built to withstand the elements after manufacture not during manufacture.

      So yea, not very ironic.

      Do you think a Toyota Land Cruiser is built in a dust-filled factory? No irony that I can see.

        im sure the electronic components would be.

          the electronic components would be built in a dust-filled factory? Why the heck would they do that? They'd want it WITHOUT dust I would think.

    Filmed in Outback Australia (or america or...) jk

    We have all seen pictures of Mars before, nothing new here..... Still no Martians.

    Maybe Hershey is next...

    Why the blacked out parts, surely the rover exterior isn't that secret...
    (After all it is in Plain view of all the visitors to Mars.)

    I think its the clipping together of the photo's not cutting out of the photo's.
    Mostly because of that last image where you see the lense curve from the Panorama,
    it's like you can see the clipping from the bottom of the photo.

    I wonder if it will eventually catch up and take pics of the other rovers to see how
    worn out they are?

      I've often wondered that and thought how interesting it would be. Reality is, these are all landed on different parts of the planet - although it's smaller than Earth, they'd never find each other. (Think of it like one probe landing in England, another in Japan).

        except England is seperated from Japan by liquid water... kinda different situation here when its all one medium.

          The novalty of it would be cool, but NASA probably chose the seperate site in order to contrast the Spirit/Opportunity findings.

          Sigh. Okay. If one landed in Paris and another in Beijing, happy?

    The blacked out areas are there to avoid patent infringement lawsuits from Apple.

    I am a bit surprised they haven't got a patent on pictures of Mars too?

      Mars - Planet formerly known as Metro Funny HP Mars Commercial from 15 years ago

    They shouldve asked Google for the camera rig on top of their cars that do street view. At least we would have gotten some better all around pictures. These dont cut the mustard.

      Geez..I bet your one of those people that will see a unicorn fart a rainbow and be like 'meh...not impressed'

    Wow.. when I zoom in really close one of the rocks.. i can make out the shape of an alian skull.... Aaaand conspiracy started...

    Should have put little eyeballs on it to terrify the natives lol.

    Umm guys... you realise that Curiosity takes low resolution photos first, which it sends to earth and then they decide which Hi Res, colour images to request in high resolution... Thats why the first images beamed back were so tiny.
    IT IS smart enough to decide what to take.. at least it has been factored into the engineering.

    Looks like every other picture that has ever come back from Mars. Rocks and dirt... wow, lets party.

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