Mars rover sends back colour photo

NASA's new Mars rover has beamed back its first colour photo from the ancient crater where it landed.

The image shows a pebbly landscape and the rim of Gale Crater off in the distance. Curiosity snapped the photo on its first day on the surface after touching down after a dramatic descent Sunday night.

The rover took the shot with a camera at the end of its robotic arm. The landscape looks fuzzy because the camera's removable cover was coated with dust that kicked up during its descent.

Since landing, Curiosity has sent back several black-and-white images of its surroundings, including a mountain view. It is expected to send back sharper pictures of its landing site.