Payload Fairing


    Payload Fairing

    The spacecraft rides into the sky inside a protective payload fairing atop the Centaur stage. With the payload fairing on top, the vehicle ready for launch stands approximately 191 feet (58 meters) tall.

    • Closing the Fairings
    • Curiosity's Rocket Fairing
    • Hoisting MSL Onto Its Atlas V
    • Payload Fairing Upright

    The major elements of the Atlas V-541 rocket that were used for the Mars Science Laboratory mission are:

    Stage 1: Atlas V Rocket

    Solid Rocket Motors

    Stage 2: Centaur

    Payload Fairing