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NASA have released an interactive image of what the surface on Mars looks like taken from their Curiosity rover.

The image was generated from the rover’s three cameras over several days using software company GigaPan to capture the panoramic photo. This is the first NASA-produced image from the surface of Mars and is composed of around 900 frames from Curiosity’s cameras.

NASA have released a billion-pixel view from the surface of Mars which was taken from their Curiosity rover and offers armchair explorers a way to examine one part of the Red Planet in great detail.

This interactive image brings together nearly 900 exposures taken by cameras on board Curiosity and shows details of the landscape along the rover's route.

The full-circle scene surrounds the site where Curiosity collected its first scoops of dusty sand at a windblown patch called "Rocknest," and extends to Mount Sharp on the horizon.

"It gives a sense of place and really shows off the cameras' capabilities," said Bob Deen of the Multi-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "You can see the context and also zoom in to see very fine details."

Deen assembled the product using 850 frames from the telephoto camera of Curiosity's Mast Camera instrument, supplemented with 21 frames from the Mastcam's wider-angle camera and 25 black-and-white frames - mostly of the rover itself - from the Navigation Camera. The images were taken on several different Mars days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012.

The 1.3-billion-pixel image is available for perusal with pan and zoom tools at: http://mars.nasa.gov/bp1/

Radiation issues for manned Mars mission

sidebar radiation article

During the rover's cruise to Mars between December 2011 and July 2012, RAD showed that an astronaut would clock up the same radiation dose in a day that the average American receives in a year. If you exclude medical dosages, it would be 10 times more than the average American.

See original article from The Guardian here.

Materials that Halt Hazardous Space Radiation

Radiation has long been an issue when it comes to space travel. In fact, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity recently confirmed previous research on the hazards of space radiation, revealing that radiation levels on the way to the Red Planet are several hundred times higher than the those humans receive on Earth. Now, scientists may have found a way to shield astronauts from the hazards of this radiation.

See original article from Science World Report here.

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