08/08/2012 04:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mars Curiosity Rover's First High-Resolution Picture Shows Heat Shield, Martian Surface (PHOTO)

The first high-resolution photo of the Martian surface has been released by NASA. The image was taken with the Mars Descent Imager, or MARDI, as the Curiosity rover descended to the planet's surface.

According to the Atlantic, the rover took the photograph while dropping its heat shield to the Red Planet's surface.

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mars curiosity rover

John Holdren, President Obama's White House Science and Technology Advisor, said the mission was "the most challenging mission ever attempted in the history of robotic exploration," Ars Technica reports.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden echoed the sentiments, saying many pieces of technology used in the exploration were invented or created just for the journey, according to the Mashable.

On Tuesday, Curiosity sent back the first color photo from its mission on Mars. The image showed a view of the north wall and rim of Gale Crater.