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Mars Science Laboratory
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MISSION

Rover



In some sense, the Mars Science Laboratory rover's parts will be similar to what any living creature would need to keep it "alive" and able to explore.

The rover will have a:

  • body: a structure that protects the roversĀ“ "vital organs"

  • brains: computers to process information

  • temperature controls: internal heaters, a layer of insulation, and more

  • "neck and head": a mast for the cameras to give the rover a human-scale view

  • eyes and other "senses": cameras and instruments that give the rover information about its environment

  • arm and "hand": a way to extend its reach and collect rock samples for study

  • wheels and "legs": parts for mobility

  • energy: batteries and power

  • communications: antennas for "speaking" and "listening"

Fast Facts

Mission name: Mars Science Laboratory

Rover name: Curiosity rover

Size: About the size of a small SUV -- 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide and 7 feet tall -- (about 3 meters long (not including the arm), 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall), or about the height of a basketball player.

Arm Reach: About 7 feet (2.2 meters)

Weight: 900 kilograms (2,000 pounds)

Features: Geology lab, rocker-bogie suspension, rock-vaporizing laser and lots of cameras

Mission: To search areas of Mars for past or present conditions favorable for life, and conditions capable of preserving a record of life

Launched:
7:02 a.m. PST, Nov. 26, 2011
(10:02 a.m. EST)

Landed:
10:32 p.m. PDT, Aug. 5, 2012
(1:32 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6, 2012)

Length of mission on Mars: The prime mission will last one Mars year or about 23 Earth months.

Follow Your Curiosity:
Participate

Mission Fact sheet: Download the Mars Science Laboratory Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.8 MB)




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