'Stunning': The Mars rover image that may become iconic

NASA scientists on Friday presented striking early images from the picture-perfect landing.

The color photograph, likely to become an instant classic among memorable images from the history of spaceflight, was snapped by a camera mounted on the rocket-powered "sky crane" descent-stage just above the rover as the car-sized space vehicle was being lowered on Thursday to Martian soil.

The image was unveiled by mission managers during an online news briefing webcast from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Stehura is a deputy lead for the mission's descent and landing team. Hwang is the strategic mission manager.