Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BRING THE UNIVERSE TO YOU JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
JPL Banner
Mars Science Laboratory
Home
MISSION

Cruise

Mars Science Laboratory Spacecraft During Cruise, Artist's Concept
This is an artist's concept of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft during its cruise phase between launch and final approach to Mars.

The cruise phase began soon after separation from the launch vehicle when the spacecraft completed the launch phase. Cruise ended when the spacecraft was 45 days from entry into the Martian atmosphere, when the approach phase began.

Major activities during the cruise phase

  • monitoring and calibration of the spacecraft and subsystems
  • attitude correction turns (spins to maintain the antenna pointing toward Earth for communications and to keep the solar panels pointed toward the Sun for power)
  • navigation activities, including trajectory correction maneuvers, for determining and correcting the vehicle´s flight path and for training navigators prior to approach
USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     FEEDBACK     IMAGE POLICY