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Photos of Mars Science Laboratory mission

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 06 Sep 2012

Photos of Mars Science Laboratory mission

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So, what is one of the most important tech news at the moment?

For sure this is the detailed research of Mars performed by Mars Science Laboratory mission.

With its rover named Curiosity, Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet's "habitability."

To find out details of the red planet, the rover carries the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. The rover will analyze samples scooped from the soil and drilled from rocks. The record of the planet's climate and geology is essentially "written in the rocks and soil" -- in their formation, structure, and chemical composition. The rover's onboard laboratory will study rocks, soils, and the local geologic setting in order to detect chemical building blocks of life (e.g., forms of carbon) on Mars and will assess what the martian environment was like in the past.


Mars Science Laboratory will rely on new technological innovations, especially for landing. The spacecraft descended on a parachute and then, during the final seconds prior to landing, lowered the upright rover on a tether to the surface, much like a sky crane. Now on the surface, the rover will be able to roll over obstacles up to 75 centimeters (29 inches) high and travel up to 90 meters (295 feet) per hour. On average, the rover is expected to travel about 30 meters (98 feet) per hour, based on power levels, slippage, steepness of the terrain, visibility, and other variables.




Layers at the Base of Mount Sharp
















Getting to Know Mount Sharp




Exposed by Rocket Engine Blasts
















Curiosity Cradled by Gale Crater




Curiosity's Heat Shield - the 15-foot diameter heat shield when it was about 50 feet from the spacecraft. This image shows the inside surface of the heat shield, with its protective multi-layered insulation.




Martian Dust Storm




Mars




Curiosity rover carries the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface










Curiosity - landing








  
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 Tags: SoftFern News, SoftFern Tech News, NASA, Mars Science Laboratory, Mars Exploration Program, Curiosity, robotic exploration, Curiosity rover, photos of Curiosity robot, images of Curiosity robot, photos of Martian surface, images of Martian surface, photos of Mars, images of Mars
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