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This instrument, shown prior to its September 2010 installation onto NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, will aid future human missions to Mars by providing information about the radiation environment on Mars and on the way to Mars.
Radiation Assessment Detector for Mars Science Laboratory
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This volcanic cone in the Nili Patera caldera on Mars has hydrothermal mineral deposits on the southern flanks and nearby terrains.
Mars Volcanic Cone with Hydrothermal Deposits
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The gullies on a Martian sand dune in this trio of images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter deceptively resemble features on Earth that are carved by streams of water.
Gully Changes on Martian Sand Dune
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The Curiosity Cam live video feed allows the public to watch technicians assemble and test NASA's next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Curiosity Cam Goes Live
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Mars Odyssey Project Manager Gaylon McSmith, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mars Odyssey Project Manager Gaylon McSmith
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The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., will analyze samples of material collected by the rover's arm.
Sample Analysis at Mars for Curiosity
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This artist's concept depicts NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft orbiting Mars.
Artist's Concept Of MAVEN Orbiting Mars
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This artist's concept depicts NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft orbiting Mars.
MAVEN Orbiting Mars
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This artist's concept of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at Mars features one of its instruments -- the Mars Climate Sounder -- in action.
Mars Climate Sounder (Artist's Concept)
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The ChemCam instrument for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission uses a pulsed laser beam to vaporize a pinhead-size target, producing a flash of light from the ionized material -- plasma -- that can be analyzed to identify chemical elements in the target.
Spark Generated by ChemCam Laser During Tests
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The two main parts of the ChemCam laser instrument for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission are shown in this combined image.
Body and Mast Units of ChemCam Instrument for Mars Rover
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The ChemCam instrument for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission uses a pulsed laser beam to vaporize a pinhead-size target, producing a flash of light from the ionized material -- plasma -- that can be analyzed to identify chemical elements in the target.
Viewing Spark Generated by ChemCam Laser for Mars Rover
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This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission over the red planet.
Artist's concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
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An artist's concept of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (left) serves to compare it with Spirit, one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers.
Size Comparison, Mars Science Laboratory and Mars Exploration Rover (Artist's Concept)
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Testing of the robotic arm on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sept. 3, 2010, included movements of the arm while the rover was on a table tilted to 20 degrees to simulate a sloped surface on Mars.
Tilt-Table Testing for Curiosity's Robotic Arm
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NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity, stretches its robotic arm upward during Sept. 3, 2010, tests on a tilt table in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Labotatory, Pasadena, Calif. Test operators in clean room garb monitor the motions simulating maneuvers that the rover might make while on a sloped surface on Mars.
Arm Stretch by Curiosity Mars Rover
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Test operators in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., monitor some of the first motions by the robotic arm on the Mars rover Curiosity after installation in August 2010. This photo, taken Aug. 31, 2010, shows the arm in a partially extended position. The arm has a reach of about 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) from the front of the rover body.
Curiosity Mars Rover Flexes Its Robotic Arm
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Test operators monitor how NASA's Mars rover Curiosity handles driving over a ramp during a test on Sept. 10, 2010, inside the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Eyes on Curiosity Rover's Driving
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NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity, drives up a ramp during a test at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., on Sept. 10, 2010.
Ramp Drive Test for Curiosity Mars Rover
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The suspension system on NASA Mars rover Curiosity easily accommodates rolling over a ramp in this Sept. 10, 2010, test drive inside the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
NASA's Next Mars Rover on a Test Drive
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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to record this view at the end of a 111-meter (364-foot) drive on the 2,353rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Sept. 6, 2010).
View from Halfway Through Multi-Year Trek
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A group watching motions of an engineering model of the camera mast for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on March 5, 2010, includes moviemaker James Cameron (right).
Moviemaker with Mars Rover 'Stunt Double'
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Building Curiosity: Engineers give the rover lessons in hand-eye coordination.
Teaching Hand-Eye Coordination
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A surprise from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission in 2008 was finding perchlorate in Martian soil.
Phoenix Twilight (Artist Concept)
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NASA's Viking Project found a place in history when it became the first U.S. mission to land a spacecraft successfully on the surface of Mars.
Viking Lander Model
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