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Spotlight
read the article 'Keeping it Cool (...or Warm!)'
December 8, 2008

If the car-size Mars Science Laboratory rover overheats or if it stalls because it's cold, you can't call a tow truck on Mars! To keep the rover running, engineers just installed a pump system similar to a car's radiator.
read the article 'Keeping it Cool (...or Warm!)' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Next NASA Mars Mission Rescheduled For 2011'
December 4, 2008
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory will launch two years later than previously planned, in the fall of 2011. The mission will send a next-generation rover with unprecedented research tools to study the early environmental history of Mars.
read the article 'Next NASA Mars Mission Rescheduled For 2011' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'The Games We Play'
December 1, 2008

When you're training for a tough task, role-playing games can prepare you for the real thing. Scientists play "games" too. Sixty Mars scientists from around the world just finished four exercises to practice directing the Mars Science Laboratory rover's activities after it lands.
read the article 'The Games We Play' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'The Politics of Landing'
November 24, 2008

Electing where to send a rover on the diverse landscape of Mars is no easy task. With a lot at stake, two sides of the Mars team--scientists and engineers--have been lobbying for the best candidate landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory rover.
read the article 'The Politics of Landing' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Site List Narrows For NASA's Next Mars Landing'
November 19, 2008
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Four intriguing places on Mars have risen to the final round as NASA selects a landing site for its next Mars mission, the Mars Science Laboratory.
read the article 'Site List Narrows For NASA's Next Mars Landing' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'A Precious Ring'
November 19, 2008

Just as jewelry makers take care to set a gem in a ring, a tireless team has been working late hours to tuck the Mars Science Laboratory rover inside its intricate, protective aeroshell and mount it for the first time on a giant gold "ring" (the cruise structure).
read the article 'A Precious Ring' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'NASA Invites Students to Name New Mars Rover'
November 18, 2008
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA is looking for the right stuff, or in this case, the right name for the next Mars rover.
read the article 'NASA Invites Students to Name New Mars Rover' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'So Happy Together'
November 13, 2008

Imagine taking a very long 10-month journey with someone you've just recently met! The assembly team successfully introduced the Mars Science Laboratory rover to one of its space travel partners.
read the article 'So Happy Together' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'A Rough, Tough, Red Planet Rock Hound'
November 10, 2008

Humans can't go to Mars (yet), but at least for now, we can send extensions of ourselves. Mars Science Laboratory's rover will be the hardiest geologist the red planet's seen yet, going farther and into rougher terrain than ever before.
read the article 'A Rough, Tough, Red Planet Rock Hound' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'High-Flying Test Rides'
November 3, 2008

When you have just one chance to land Mars' biggest rover, you have to practice - a lot. So, how do you copy a high-speed descent on Mars? Strap special sensors to an F/A-18 jet at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.
read the article 'High-Flying Test Rides' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'One Hot, Giant
October 27, 2008

Hot off a special delivery truck from Lockheed Martin in Denver comes the aeroshell for the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Like two pieces of a giant clam, the aeroshell's backshell and the heatshield come together to protect the rover and the propulsion stage that safely delivers it to the surface of Mars.
read the article 'One Hot, Giant  Read More
Spotlight
read the article '
October 23, 2008

When it descends through the Martian sky, the Mars Science Laboratory rover will "hang six," riding the Martian wind. The descent stage will lower the rover to the ground using a "Bridle Umbilical Device."
read the article ' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Survivor: Mars'
September 18, 2008

The Mars tribe has spoken. After searching far and wide for a landing site that can tell them if Mars was ever livable for microscopic life, the tribe of Mars experts has eliminated dozens of contenders. Only seven survive (labeled in white).
read the article 'Survivor: Mars' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'A Tribute to Mars Exploration'
August 28, 2008

As Americans celebrate Labor Day 2008, six flags stand in silent salute to the U.S. workforce on Mars. Three of the flags are on spacecraft still exploring Mars.
read the article 'A Tribute to Mars Exploration' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Driving Test is a Wheel Success'
August 20, 2008

Like a racecar in need of high-performance tires, the next rover to explore Mars needs a rugged set of wheels. Like the racing tires, the off-road wheels must perform flawlessly. Together with a rugged suspension system, they must be lightweight, strong, and agile enough to handle extreme terrain. takes a lot of drilling to prepare to use a drill 100 million miles away, beyond the reach of humans. The Mars Science Laboratory rover is wasting no time doing just that. With an industrial-strength drill, the rover will pulverize the inside of hard, volcanic rocks on Mars and study the powder.
read the article 'Driving Test is a Wheel Success' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Rover Gets the Drill'
June 30, 2008

It takes a lot of drilling to prepare to use a drill 100 million miles away, beyond the reach of humans. The Mars Science Laboratory rover is wasting no time doing just that. With an industrial-strength drill, the rover will pulverize the inside of hard, volcanic rocks on Mars and study the powder.
read the article 'Mars Rover Gets the Drill' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Third-Generation Mars Rover Dwarfs Predecessors'
May 12, 2008

Mars rovers appear to be shrinking with age! The biggest, baddest, newest rover being built is the Mars Science Laboratory rover (right). It's the size of a small sport-utility vehicle. Still exploring Mars four years after landing are the dune-buggy-sized rovers Spirit and Opportunity (left). The first-generation rover, Sojourner, is the size of a microwave oven.
read the article 'Third-Generation Mars Rover Dwarfs Predecessors' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Martian Eyes Are Watching'
April 21, 2008

The next set of "eyes" to journey to Mars are already busy observing people and objects on Earth. Keen vision will be essential to keeping the Mars Science Laboratory rover, a vehicle the size of a small SUV, out of trouble amid the red planet's cliffs, sand, and boulders.
read the article 'Martian Eyes Are Watching' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'No Speed Limit on Mars'
April 2, 2008

It's a good thing there's no speed limit on Mars, because the next parachute to fly to the red planet deploys faster than you can legally drive on a California freeway!
read the article 'No Speed Limit on Mars' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Keeping Time to a New Rover Beat'
March 11, 2008

Engineers worked late on March 7th, "keeping time" with an aggressive schedule for building the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Getting into a new rhythm of hard work to come, the mission team was upbeat as they kicked off a mission phase called ATLO (Assembly, Testing, and Launch Operations).
read the article 'Keeping Time to a New Rover Beat' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Big Wheels Cross The Finish Line...for Now!'
March 7, 2008

NASA's next mission to Mars gets rolling, as engineers on the mobility team cross a finish line of their own.
read the article 'Big Wheels Cross The Finish Line...for Now!' Read More
Press Release
read the article 'Mars Rovers Sharpen Questions About Livable Conditions'
February 15, 2008
Source: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab

Like salt used as a preservative, high concentrations of dissolved minerals in the wet, early-Mars environment known from discoveries by NASA's Opportunity rover may have thwarted any microbes from developing or surviving.
read the article 'Mars Rovers Sharpen Questions About Livable Conditions' Read More

Mission Information

Launched:
7:02 a.m. PST, Nov. 26, 2011
(10:02 a.m. EST)

Landed:
10:32 p.m. PDT, Aug. 5, 2012
(1:32 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6, 2012)

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We made it! Curiosity reaches Mount Sharp 9/11/2014
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