Mars photo from Curiosity rover

This morning, we’re taking a look at some of the first photos sent back from NASA’s latest mission to Mars, and they’re breathtaking.

Even though they’re just black-and-white snaps showing little more than the rover’s wheels and a low-angle view of the Mars desert at sunset, they’re thrilling to those of us who get unreasonably excited about space travel and interplanetary exploration.

Larger color images from other cameras are expected later in the week, when the rover’s mast, which carries high-resolution cameras, will be deployed.

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Due to the high levels of curiosity around Curiosity, the NASA gallery has been up and down a bit this morning, so we’re sharing some of the images from the planet’s surface with you here. To see the full 40-slide gallery with smaller images, you can head over to NASA.gov.

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All images courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.

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