Mars rover Curiosity leaves tracks large enough to be seen from space

Tracks from the first drives of NASA's Curiosity rover are visible
Tracks from the first drives of NASA's Curiosity rover are visible Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA's robotic rover Curiosity is making its mark on Mars - leaving tracks that are big enough to be seen from space.

Curiosity's zig zagging tyre tracks were photographed by a NASA satellite circling the red planet and also from the rover's rear-facing cameras.

 Observing the tracks over time will provide information on how the surface changes as dust is deposited and eroded
Observing the tracks over time will provide information on how the surface changes as dust is deposited and eroded Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Observing the tracks over time will provide information on how the surface of Mars changes as dust is deposited and eroded.

Curiosity's front and rear Hazcams have fisheye lenses for enabling the rover to see a wide swathe of terrain
Curiosity's front and rear Hazcams have fisheye lenses for enabling the rover to see a wide swathe of terrain Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The spacecraft landed on 5 August on a mission to look for ingredients that could support life.

The rover won't be moving around for several days as engineers are to spend the next week inspecting the rover's crucial robotic arm and scientific instruments.