Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BRING THE UNIVERSE TO YOU JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
JPL Banner
Mars Science Laboratory
Home
SPOTLIGHT
08.19.2009

Spring Training for the Rover Science Team

In the first image of this animation, the Mars Science Laboratory Project Science Group, consisting of 11 men and 1 woman, are climbing up a dusty trail in New Mexico. Wearing casual hiking clothes and hats, they are climbing towards the photographer of this image. Behind them in the distance is a lake and mountains. In the second image, John Grotzinger is standing at the face of a cliff and in discussion with two other team members. The cliff, which is beige and gray in color, has many layers in the rocks. Ken Edgett, wearing a baseball hat with a red handkerchief hanging out the back to protect his neck from the sun, is taking close-up pictures of the cliff with a small black camera.

Just as baseball players must train together before the season starts, the science team for "Curiosity" must be in top shape to operate the rover's 10 science instruments when it lands on Mars in 2012.

The team recently limbered up by exploring a New Mexico site with a similar geologic history to what "Curiosity" may encounter on Mars. Team members stretched their intellectual muscles by performing exercises to discuss how they would operate the rover if it were at that site. They also debated which experiments would help them best understand the site.

Meeting in person also strengthened the international team's bond. Once the rover lands on Mars, a group that "plays well" together is not just a goal - it's mission critical. They must rely on each other's strengths and work through differences to make the best decisions for "Curiosity."

Lots of practice and team-building now will hopefully ensure a winning science "season" on Mars later!

Higher Res Images:
In this image, the Mars Science Laboratory Project Science Group, consisting of 11 men and 1 woman, are climbing up a dusty trail in New Mexico. Wearing casual hiking clothes and hats, they are climbing towards the photographer of this image. Behind them in the distance is a lake and mountains.Full Size Still Image
The Mars Science Laboratory's lead scientists hike up a hill in New Mexico to study a geological formation similar to what "Curiosity" might find on Mars.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
John Grotzinger is standing at the face of a cliff and in discussion with two other team members. The cliff, which is beige and gray in color, has many layers in the rocks. Ken Edgett, wearing a baseball hat with a red handkerchief hanging out the back to protect his neck from the sun, is taking close-up pictures of the cliff with a small black camera.Full Size Still Image
John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory's Project Scientist, discusses a series of lakebed sediments with the team. Behind him, Ken Edgett, gathers some closeup images of the rocks, just as his experiment will do on Mars. He is in charge of the color camera on the turret of the rover's robotic arm (the camera is called MAHLI or the Mars Hand Lens Imager).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Return to News Archive


USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     FEEDBACK     IMAGE POLICY