PIA16231: Curiosity's First Three Bites Into Martian Ground
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Spacecraft:  Curiosity
 Instrument:  Navcam (MSL)
 Product Size:  1024 x 1024 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA16231.tif (1.05 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA16231.jpg (161.7 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

Three bite marks left in the Martian ground by the scoop on the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity are visible in this image taken by the rover's right Navigation Camera during the mission's 69th Martian day, or sol (Oct. 15, 2012). The third scoopful, collected on that sol, left the bite or pit farthest to the right. Each of the three bites is about 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide.

Of the two bites to the left, the lower one is where Curiosity collected its first scoopful of Martian material, on Sol 61 (Oct. 7, 2012). The upper one is the site of the second scooping, on Sol 66 (Oct. 12, 2012). The location for all of these scoops, and two more planned, is a ripple of windblown dust and sand at a location called "Rocknest."

The bright circular part of the rover near the bottom center of this image is the observation tray, which is 3 inches (7.8 centimeters) in diameter.

JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl, http://www.nasa.gov/mars, and http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

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