NASA Curiosity rover sends back 1st color picture

ALICIA CHANG and SETH BORENSTEIN
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This image released on Tuesday Aug. 7,2012 by NASA shows the first color view of the north wall and rim of Gale Crater where NASA's rover Curiosity landed Sunday night. The picture was taken by the rover's camera at the end of its stowed robotic arm and appears fuzzy because of dust on the camera's cover. (AP Photo/NASA)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA's Curiosity rover has beamed back its first color photo from the ancient crater where it landed.

The view showed a pebbly landscape and the rim of Gale Crater off in the distance. Curiosity snapped the photo on the first day on the surface after touching down on Mars Sunday night.

The rover took the shot with a camera at the end of its robotic arm, which remained stowed. The landscape looked fuzzy because the camera's removable cover was coated with dust that kicked up during the descent to the ground.

Since landing, Curiosity has sent back several black-and-white images of its surroundings including a mountain view. As it continues with its health check-ups, it is expected to send back sharper pictures of its landing site.