This is it. Curiosity has reached its prime destination. After a brilliant conception, an amazing landing, and two years of continuous travel, the rover is now at the base of Aeolis Mons—aka Mount Sharp—a mountain that rises 18,000 feet (5.5 kilometers) at the center of Gale Crater. This is where the real fun begins.
Last August, NASA landed Curiosity on the surface of Mars. Now, after almost one year of preliminary investigations, the most scientifically capable rover in history has its sights set on its primary scientific target, Mount Sharp – a three-mile-high peak at the center of Gale Crater.
You're looking at a small section of a vast and colorful panoramic view of Mars, one of the latest to be beamed back by NASA's Curiosity rover. The panorama (click here for full-res) shows a 360-degree view of the rover's landing site, and a clear shot of the highest visible reaches of Mount Sharp, the rover's primary…
NASA has upped the ante on the August landing of Curiosity, the largest, most scientifically capable planetary rover ever built. By shrinking the size of its target landing zone, the Agency hopes to place Curiosity closer to its experimental target, while saving it months of travel time.