12.19.2016 Curiosity Rover's Location for Sol 1553
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
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
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
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