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This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover along with an illustrated astronaut bird.
Curiosity Launch Tweetup
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NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission reached a milestone in September 2011.
Primary Structure for MAVEN Spacecraft
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At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, will be integrated with a rocket-powered descent stage (shown here to the left of the rover).
Curiosity Awaits Descent Stage
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At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an overhead crane is being lowered over a rocket-powered descent stage for integration with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity.
Descent Stage Gets Ready
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Technicians, at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, use an overhead crane to move a rocket-powered descent stage for integration with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity.
Descent Stage
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Under the watchful eyes of technicians at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an overhead crane lowers a rocket-powered descent stage over NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, for integration.
Descent Stage Meets Rover!
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At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, integration between a rocket-powered descent stage and NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, is complete. The descent stage will lower Curiosity to the surface of Mars.
Rover and Descent Stage Merge
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In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians guide the backshell as it is lowered over NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, for encapsulation.
Backshell Meets Rover!
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In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians guide the backshell as it is lowered over NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, for encapsulation.
Lowering the Backshell
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In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the backshell, a protective cover which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, has been encapsulated over NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity.
Curiosity's Backshell, Rover and Descent Stage Merge
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At Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers guide an overhead crane as it lifts the Centaur upper stage for the United Launch Alliance Atlas V in the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF).
Centaur at Pad 41
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With a unique view taken from inside Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, an overhead crane lifts the Centaur upper stage for the United Launch Alliance Atlas V.
Centaur Upper Stage Rises
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At Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, an overhead crane will be used to lift the Centaur upper stage for the United Launch Alliance Atlas V into the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF).
Centaur Upper Stage Rocket Arrives at KSC
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The dual sections of the Atlas V payload fairing for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission await further processing in the airlock of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Payload Fairing Side-by-Side
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Half of the Atlas V payload fairing for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is lifted into a vertical position in the airlock of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Payload Fairing Stands Tall
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Half of the Atlas V payload fairing for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, encased in plastic, is lifted from its transportation pallet in the airlock of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Getting Payload Fairing Ready
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At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, workers uncover half of the Atlas V payload fairing for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, encased in plastic, on its transportation pallet.
Payload Fairing Arrives at KSC
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A large mound of sand and dune forms are located on the floor of an unnamed crater south of Rabe Crater in Noachis Terra.
Rabe Crater in Noachis Terra
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Inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane guide the final solid rocket motor into position for mating to the first stage of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
Booster Rocket Will Give Atlas V a Boost
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With a view taken from inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the final solid rocket motor (SRM) hangs in an upright position for mating to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket which will carry NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.
Atlas V Booster Rocket Soars
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A beautiful sun rises on Florida's space coast as preparations are underway for mating the final solid rocket motor (SRM) to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Dawn's Warm Glow
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At the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, technicians use a lifting device to elevate a solid rocket motor (SRM) into an upright position for mating to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket which will carry NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.
Atlas V Booster Rocket
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This view of an American flag on metal recovered from the site of the World Trade Center towers shortly after their destruction on Sept. 11, 2001, was taken on Mars on Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the towers.
Memorial Image Taken on Mars on Sept. 11, 2011
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A crane positions the 106.5-foot-long first stage of the Atlas V rocket for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
View from Top of Atlas V Rocket
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A crane lifts the 106.5-foot-long first stage of the Atlas V rocket for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission through the open door of the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Atlas V Stands Tall
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