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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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Testing of the cruise stage for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory in August 2010 included a session in a facility that simulates the environment found in interplanetary space.
Cruise Stage Testing for Mars Science Laboratory
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Testing of the cruise stage for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory in August 2010 included a session in a facility that simulates the environment found in interplanetary space.
Mars Science Laboratory's Cruise Stage in Test Chamber
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Wrinkle Ridge, Solis Planum
Wrinkle Ridge, Solis Planum
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Large fractures have formed 'steps' in this region of Tempe Terra.
Tempe Terra
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The Mars Climate Sounder instrument, shown here prior to its installation onto NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the mission's 2006 launch, will get a similar-looking sibling at Mars in 2016.
Climate Sounder Instrument for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
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The MRO Context Camera, CTX, at Malin Space Science Systems in 2004, before it was delivered and mounted on the spacecraft.
Context Camera for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
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This color image of the Martian surface in the Chryse area was taken by Viking Lander 1, looking southwest, about 15 minutes before sunset on the evening of August 21.
Sunset at the Viking Lander 1 Site
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This is the first photograph ever taken on the surface of the planet Mars.
History-Making Mars Mission Launched 35 Years Ago
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The Mars Climate Sounder instrument, shown here prior to its installation onto NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the mission's 2006 launch, will get a similar-looking sibling at Mars in 2016.
Climate Sounder Instrument for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
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The Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter maps the vertical distribution of temperatures, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere as the orbiter flies a near-polar orbit.
Martian Atmosphere Profiles
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At the center of this view of an area of mid-latitude northern Mars, a fresh crater about 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter holds an exposure of bright material, blue in this false-color image.
Exposed Ice in a Fresh Crater
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This is an artist's concept of the planned spacecraft, which will carry five science instruments plus a European entry, descent and landing demonstrator vehicle.
Artist's Concept of Planned 2016 Mars Mission
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Terrain in Vastitas Borealis Region.
Terrain in Vastitas Borealis Region
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