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This drawing of the Mars Science Laboratory mission's rover, Curiosity, indicates the location of science instruments and some other tools on the car-size rover.
07.22.2011

Diverse Science Payload on Mars Rover Curiosity

This drawing of the Mars Science Laboratory mission's rover, Curiosity, indicates the location of science instruments and some other tools on the car-size rover.

Clockwise from upper left:
  • Mastcam is the Mast Camera instrument.
  • ChemCam is the Chemistry and Camera instrument.
  • RAD is the Radiation Assessment Detector instrument.
  • CheMin is the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument.
  • SAM is the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument.
  • DAN is the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons instrument.
  • MARDI is the Mars Descent Imager instrument.
  • MAHLI is the Mars Hand Lens Imager instrument.
  • APXS is the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument.
  • The brush, drill, sieves and scoop are tools on the rover's robotic arm.
  • REMS is the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station.


The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is being prepared for launch during the period Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, 2011. In a prime mission lasting one Martian year -- nearly two Earth years -- after landing, researchers will use the rover's tools to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life existed.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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