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
11.11.2015 Thick, Dark Veins at 'Garden City,' Mars
11.11.2015 Dark, Thin Fracture-Filling Material
10.08.2015 Secrets of 'Hidden Valley' on Mars
10.08.2015 Strata at Base of Mount Sharp
10.02.2015 Mount Sharp Comes In Sharply
Test Rover Aids Preparations in California for Curiosity Rover on MarsMars Science Laboratory mission team members ran mobility tests on California sand dunes in early May 2012 in preparation for operating the Curiosity rover, currently en route to Mars, after its landing in Mars' Gale Crater. This test rover, called Scarecrow because it doesn't have an onboard computer "brain" like Curiosity, has a full-scale version of Curiosity's mobility system, but it is otherwise stripped down so that it weighs about the same on Earth as Curiosity will weigh in the lesser gravity of Mars. Each wheel has a diameter of 20 inches (50 centimeters).
The tests for driving on sand dunes were conducted on the Dumont Dunes, near Death Valley in California. Information collected about Scarecrow's performance in driving up various slopes on windward and downwind portions of dunes will be used by the rover team in decisions about driving on dunes near Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission launched on Nov. 26, 2011, and will deliver the rover Curiosity to Gale Crater on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, Universal Time and EDT (night of Aug. 5, PDT). With 10 science instruments, Curiosity will investigate whether the area has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, and built Curiosity.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech