NASA has just released a 360-degree interactive panoramic (embiggen image) of Mars, created from footage taken by the Opportunity rover between Dec. 21, 2011, and May 8, 2012, while the rover was stationed on an outcrop of the rim of the ancient Endeavour Crater.
While there are no alien life forms to be found -- and, really, it's pretty much just a tease for what is sure to be amazing footage from the much more technologically advanced Curiosity rover in the weeks to come -- we'll take it.
The Curiosity Rover made it to Mars late Sunday night, and so far all we've got is this single high-res photo.
But it was more than enough to send NASA engineers into ecstasy, since the Curiosity's landing sequence -- coined The Seven Minutes of Terror -- requires six vehicle configurations, 76 pyrotechnic devices, the largest supersonic parachute ever built, and more than 500,000 lines of code.
According to NASA administrator Charles Bolden, "new technologies never invented or attempted before were created for this journey," and that the odds for success were actually just 40 percent.
Curiosity, the most sophisticated Rover ever built is now on the surface of the red planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether or not life ever existed there on Mars or if the planet can sustain life in the future.
More photos to come, we can be sure of that.