The finished heat shield for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, with a diameter of 4.5 meters (14 feet, 9 inches), is the largest ever built for descending through the atmosphere of any planet. This image shows the heat shield and a spacecraft worker at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, which built and tested the heat shield.

July 10, 2009

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

ENLARGE

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