In this image, two technicians from the Mars Science Laboratory team prepare the rover’s mobility system for instrumentation tests.  They are both wearing white coats and gloves as they each work on one of the rover's 'legs' in a white-tiled room.

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Trust--it's vital for each step of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Engineers must trust each other and all the tests they've done while building the rover. Are the sensors on the mobility system (the wheels plus everything that connects them to the rover's body) worthy of their trust?

The team finds out by attaching special weights to the rover. The weights stand in for precious science instruments to be added later, preventing damage to the real tools. Then, the team checks the sensors to see if they accurately reported the added weight.

The sensors must work for the next test when the rover will spin around at 85 miles per hour, simulating the rough ride into the Martian atmosphere. The sensors report the stress the spinning places on the rover. Testing now earns a lot of trust for the sensors later, when stress will be high in the Martian sky.

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