15 August 2012
Last updated at 14:26
After an eight-month journey from Earth, Curiosity began its descent to Mars on 6 August (GMT). This image taken by the rover's Mardi instrument shows the spacecraft's heat shield just after it was released during the plunge to Mars' Gale Crater. The 4.5m-wide cover was some 16m away when this picture was taken.
The Hi-rise camera aboard Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this picture of Curiosity after it had deployed its parachute. The rover is landing on the "etched plains" just north of sand dunes that fringe Mount Sharp, the central 5.5km-high peak inside Gale Crater.
Curiosity was delivered to the surface by a system known as the Skycrane. The crane used rockets to slow to a halt above the surface and lower the rover to a soft landing using a 7.6m tether. This picture shows the roughly circular swirls of powdery dust kicked up by the by the rocket motor exhaust.
After delivering the rover to the surface, the skycrane flew to a safe distance before crashing. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured these dark scour marks on the surface caused by the impact.
In the hours after the landing, Nasa released the first images taken by the rover, showing its surroundings on the Martian surface. This view was snapped by one of Curiosity's hazard avoidance cameras. Part of the rim of Gale Crater can be seen stretching from the top middle of the picture to the top right.
Another view from one of the hazard avoidance cameras shows Mount Sharp - the rover's main science target - looming in the distance. The foreground is dominated by Curiosity's shadow, cast across the pebble-strewn Martian surface. The dark bands beyond are dunes.
After Curiosity raised its mast, it could get to work capturing crisp images of the Martian environment using its navigation cameras. They reveal spectacular relief in the distance; crater rim cliffs carved by wind erosion. Some scientists likened the landscape to the American south-west.
This image shows a section from the rover's first colour 360-degree panorama of Gale Crater. The grey patches in the distance were formed by the skycrane's rocket motors, which blasted away loose debris to reveal the underlying rocks.
Closer inspection of these exposed patches revealed a topmost layer containing fragments of rock that are embedded in a matrix of finer material. Gale Crater has been described as a "sweet shop" for geologists, who will want to study rocks laid down when liquid water flowed on the Martian surface.
This image shows part of the rover's high-resolution panorama, looking south of the landing site towards Mount Sharp. In this version of the picture, colours have been modified to look as if they were illuminated by terrestrial sunlight. This processing, called "white balancing" is used to recognise rocks in more familiar lighting.
Curiosity can be seen as a dark and light coloured blob in the middle of a blue-ish blast pattern caused by the skycrane rockets in this image taken from space by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Mount Sharp, is located out of frame to the southeast. North is up.
These dark dune fields, captured by the HiRise instrument on MRO, lie south of the rover's current location, towards Mount Sharp. The colours have been enhanced to show the difference between Curiosity's current location and these fields, through which the rover will pass on its way to Mount Sharp.
This oblique view of the crater was put together using a combination of elevation and imaging data from three separate spacecraft orbiting Mars. Curiosity's location is shown as a green spot in the central lower half of the picture. The nuclear-powered robot rover is due to spend at least two years sampling Gale's geological delights.