Curiosity's Wheel During Descent
This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). This image was obtained by Curiosity's Mars Descent Imager. It illustrates the first appearance of the left front wheel of the Curiosity rover after the suspension system was deployed and as the vehicle was about to touch down on Mars. It was taken within a few meters of the Martian surface while the rocket-generated dust was obscuring the fine details of the surface. This is but one of hundreds of frames that were acquired during the descent to the surface. It was obtained about 20 seconds before touchdown.
The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat.
Curiosity landed inside of a crater known as Gale Crater.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS