RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Curiosity rover"

Mission to Mars

A ROVER THE SIZE OF A SMALL CAR will set sail for the Red Planet later this year.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will land the rover Curiosity on the surface of Mars, to conduct extended investigations of the planet’s surface…the aim being to work out if Mars has, or had, environmental conditions able to support microbes.

Curiosity is much bigger than past rovers. Sojourner, part of the Pathfinder mission that landed in 1997, was about the size of a microwave oven. Spirit and Opportunity, twin rovers that landed in 2004, are each about the size of a domestic refrigerator.

Curiosity will be five times heavier, and carry 10 times as much scientific gear, than Spirit or Opportunity.

MSL/Curiosity is due for launch on 25 November 2011, and land on Mars on 6 August 2012.

Video and images courtesy NASA / JPL-Caltech.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

Mars rover learns to reach out

NASA’s next Mars rover, Curiosity—also known as the Mars Science Laboratory—is taking shape in advance of its launch next year. The video above recounts the latest milestone…the attachment of the rover’s robotic arm.

About the size of an SUV car, the rover has six wheels with their own electric motors. All up, the wheel mobility system has 10 motors—four for steering the rover and six for driving.

Due to land on the Red Planet in August 2012, Curiosity will be the largest rover ever sent to Mars. It will carry 10 instruments that will help assess an intriguing region of the planet for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life.

The video below shows Curiosity taking its first “baby steps” in the laboratory.

Adapted from information issued by NASA.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Become a Mars explorer!

An artist's impression of the Curiosity rover

Hundreds of thousands of names of members of the public, will be stored on microchip and carried to Mars by the Mars Science Laboratory mission in 2011.

  • NASA collecting names for Mars missions
  • Will be stored on a microchip
  • Sent to Mars in 2011 aboard new mission

NASA is inviting members of the public from all over the world, to submit their names for its next Mars mission. The names will be stored on a microchip carried to the Red Planet by Mars Science Laboratory mission, scheduled to launch in 2011.

The Mars Science Laboratory—named Curiosity—is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or still is, an environment able to support microbial life.

As of the beginning June, over 750,000 people from dozens of countries had submitted their details for the flight. The top ranking countries at the time of writing are:

  • USA – 293,302 names
  • UK – 49,784
  • Brazil – 40,985
  • India – 33,265
  • Canada – 27303
  • Turkey – 25243
  • Australia – 21960

After you’ve entered your name, you can print a certificate and view a map showing where all the other contributors are from.

NASA web site: Send your name to Mars!

Adapted from information issued by NASA.