360° image of Bradbury Landing taken from Curiosity following 20 feet of driving, the first movement on Mars for this rover. The drive comprised a forward segment, a 90° turn and a short drive in reverse. The soil is relatively firm and no problems were encountered.
The landing site has been named for famed science fiction author Ray Bradbury, author of many books, including “The Martian Chronicles”. Bradbury died in June at 92.
In the image, one can see the scouring of the surface from the four rocket engines of the Sky Crane, which lowered Curiosity to the surface. Earlier this week, the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument recorded spectra from laser pulses fired at rocks exposed by the rocket blasts. Preliminary results suggest that the rocks may be basalt within a sedimentary deposit.
Mission operators expect to spend several days in the landing area before setting off on a 400 meter drive to the east-southeast.