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Photo: Mars Curiosity Takes Its First Drive on Red Planet, Names Landing Spot for Ray Bradbury

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Curiosity, the latest rover envoy to the Red Planet, has left its first track marks on the surface of Mars after going for its first--albeit brief--drive Wednesday.

"The rover was expected to have moved forward about 10 feet (3 meters), turn right, then back up and park slightly to the left of its old spot," notes USA Today.

Mars Curiosity took the brief roll around as pat of a "health checkup" the rover has been going through since its landing earlier this month. Ultimately, Curiosity is expected to rove over hundreds of feet daily in the region where it touched down.

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The rover has been busy tracking weather on Mars, says the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who report Curiosity's daily tasks are to check "air temperature, ground temperature, air pressure, wind and other variables every hour at the landing site in Gale Crater." Curiosity is also testing the soil in Gale Crater.

Curiosity, via JPL, bestowed a special honor today on the spot where the rover landed, naming it Bradbury Landing in honor of writer Ray Bradbury. The "Martian Chronicles" author who died in June would have turned 92 today.

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