Curiosity takes a first look around the Red Planet


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The Independent Online

The first high-resolution images of Mars taken by Nasa's Curiosity rover have revealed stunning details of a flat, dust-strewn landscape surrounded by distant hills.

Nasa scientists joked that the pictures are reminiscent of the Mojave Desert in California where they undertook simulated explorations of the Red Planet before the $2.5bn mission.

"You would really be forgiven for thinking that Nasa was trying to pull a fast one, and we actually put a rover out in the Mojave Desert and took a picture," said John Grotzinger, a project scientist.