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Mars Science Laboratory


Curiosity Mars Rover Flexes Its Robotic Arm


NASA/JPL's Mobility and Robotic Systems Section is hard at work on many aspects of MSL.

Technology development makes missions possible. Each Mars mission is part of a continuing chain of innovation. Each relies on past missions for proven technologies and contributes its own innovations to future missions. This chain allows NASA to push the boundaries of what is currently possible, while still relying on proven technologies.

Below are examples of the way in which the Mars Science Laboratory mission relies on past technologies and contributes new ones.
 Technologies of Broad Benefit
launch vehicle Propulsion: for providing the energy to get to Mars and conduct long-term studies
Mars Exploration Rover Power: for providing more efficient and increased electricity to the spacecraft and its subsystems
DSN Telecommunications: for sending commands and receiving data faster and in greater amounts
Mission control Software Engineering: for providing the computing and commands necessary to operate the spacecraft and its subsystems
Entry, Descent, and Landing Entry, Descent, and Landing: for ensuring precise and safe landings
Mars Science Laboratory Rover Autonomous Planetary Mobility: for enabling the rovers to make decisions and avoid hazards on their own
Severe Environment Technologies for Severe Environments: for making systems robust enough to handle extreme conditions in space and on Mars
The spacecraft in the cleanroom Planetary Protection Technologies: for cleaning and sterilizing spacecraft and handling soil, rock, and atmospheric samples
 Science Instruments
Artists concept Odyssey in orbit around Mars Remote Science Instrumentation: for collecting Mars data from orbit
In-situ Instrumentation In-situ Instrumentation: for collecting Mars data from the surface