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Testing of Mars Landing Radar near Lancaster, Calif.

Testing of Mars Landing Radar near Lancaster, Calif.

This image shows April 9, 2010, testing for a radar that will serve during the next landing on Mars. This day's work used prescribed descent paths flown by a helicopter carrying an engineering test model of the landing radar for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory.

The descents during that day of the multi-week testing program were flown near Lancaster, Calif., over a patch of desert with abundant California poppies.

Wolfe Air Aviation, of Pasadena, Calif., provided the helicopter and flight services for the testing by a team of engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.

The Mars Science Laboratory mission, managed by JPL for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington, is in assembly and testing for launch in autumn 2011 and delivering a rover named Curiosity to Mars in summer 2012.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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