12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
Testing Precision of Movement of Curiosity's Robotic ArmA NASA Mars Science Laboratory test rover called the Vehicle System Test Bed, or VSTB, serves as the closest double for Curiosity in evaluations of the mission's hardware and software. This February 2012 scene inside the In Situ Instrument Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., shows testing precision of movements of the rover's robotic arm in response to positioning commands. JPL's Gerald Clark is the test participant beside the turret of tools at the end of the arm.
The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was launched Nov. 26, 2011, for delivering Curiosity to a site inside Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012, Universal Time and EDT (Aug. 5, PDT). For about two years after landing, the rover will study whether that area of Mars has ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life. Curiosity's arm has the strength and precision to maneuver the 73-pound (33-kilogram) turret at the end of the arm accurately enough to deliver an asprin tablet into a thimble.
The Vehicle System Test Bed will continue to be used at JPL after Curiosity's landing for advance checking of commands under consideration for sending to its sibling on Mars.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech