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Curiosity takes its first test drive on Mars

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NASA's Curiosity rover has taken its first test drive in preparation for longer trips on Mars.

Mars Rover Tracks Close
Mars Rover Tracks Close

NASA's Curiosity has taken its first test drive, in preparation for longer trips on the red planet. The rover's leisurely jaunt consisted of a fifteen foot cruise, at which point it rotated 120 degrees and then drove in reverse for another eight feet. The rover is now about twenty feet away from the its original landing site, which NASA has dubbed "Bradbury Landing" after the late author Ray Bradbury.

The trip was captured by Curiosity's navigation camera, and a stunning panoramic image stitched together from 23 photos shows off the rover's tracks on Martian soil. This roam is just one of the many tests Curiosity needs to complete before setting off on its 1,300 foot expedition to a spot NASA has called "Glenelg," a notable site where three types of terrain meet. The rover will then continue on its primary journey to the base of Mount Sharp. You can find a full gallery of all of Curiosity's photos at NASA's site (though sadly enough, there are no more GIFs).