This high-res mosaic of 20 images is the first clear self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on the Red Planet. The rear of the rover is at top, with two right-side wheels on the left. The rim of Gale Crater forms the lighter-color strip of the background. Images taken on Aug. 8 EDT, 2012. Released Aug. 17.
NASA will hold a televised mission update for its Mars rover Curiosity today (Aug. 27) and you can watch the news live online.
The space agency will hold a press conference on NASA TV at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) to unveil "new images, an update of the Mars rover's progress, and a special greeting by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden," officials said in an announcement.
You can watch the press conference live on NASA TV here: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
It will also be webcast simultaneously here: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity landed on the Red Planet on Aug. 5 and is beginning a two-year mission to explore its landing site — the huge Gale Crater — to determine if the region could have ever supported microbial life. The $2.5 billion Curiosity is the size of a car, making it the largest rover ever sent to another planet.
The mission is overseen by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where mission scientists and engineers are working on "Mars Time" in order to sync their days with the actual days on Mars. Days on Mars are 40 minutes longer than on Earth.
Curiosity is expected to spend its two years scaling Mount Sharp, a towering 3-mile-high (5.5-kilometer) mountain that rises up from the floor of Gale Crater.
Today's press conference is the first of two back-to-back events for NASA's Mars rover team. On Tuesday, NASA will hold a special event at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) in conjunction with singer Will.i.am.
"NASA will hold an educational event to share findings about Mars with students and premiere a new song by musician will.i.am that will be broadcast from the surface of the Red Planet via the Curiosity rover," NASA officials said in a separate announcement.
Will.i.am was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the Curiosity rover landed on Mars.
NASA's presentation with the singer will also be webcast live online, agency officials said.