In Pictures: NASA Mars Curiosity mission madness

A quick look at the NASA Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity rover mission

NASA says Curiosity is about twice as long (about 3 meters/10 feet) and five times as heavy as NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, launched in 2003. It inherited technology from those rovers however, including six-wheel drive, a rocker-bogie suspension system and cameras mounted on a mast to help the mission’s team see exploration targets and driving routes. Unlike earlier rovers, Curiosity will gather samples of rocks and soil, and distribute them to onboard test chambers inside analytical instruments. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says it engineered Curiosity to roll over obstacles up to 65 centimeters (25 inches) high and to travel up to about 200 meters (660 feet) per day using a U.S. Department of Energy radioisotope power generator.

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