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Photos: Curiosity Rover, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory

Curiosity, the Newest Mars Rover

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This artist's concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity launched toward the Red Planet on Nov. 26, 2011.

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Lands in Florida

NASA

NASA's next Mars rover, known as Curiosity, landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 22, 2011, aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane.

Final testing of NASA's Curiosity rover at JPL

NASA/JPL

NASA's Curiosity rover is shown here during final testing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It will be shipped to its Florida launch site in late June 2011.

Mars Science Laboratory About to Be Lifted at Dawn

NASA/Kim Shiflett

At Space Launch Complex 41, the payload fairing containing NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft has been attached to a lifting device in preparation for a planned Nov. 25, 2011, launch.

Next Mars Rover Gets Huge Heat Shield

Lockheed Martin.

This massive heat shield is covered in an ablative material that will help protect NASA's new Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity - a robot the size of a car - from the searing temperatures of atmospheric entry when it lands on Mars. Built by Lockheed Martin, the shield is 15 feet wide, the biggest ever bound for Mars.

Mars Science Laboratory Landing Diagram

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This graphic portrays the sequence of key events in August 2012 from the time the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft — with its rover Curiosity — enters the Martian atmosphere to a moment after it touches down on the surface.

Underneath Mars Science Laboratory's Aeroshell

NASA/Glenn Benson

Technicians work beneath NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission aeroshell (containing the compact car-sized rover Curiosity).

Mars Rover Curiosity Heads to Cape Canaveral

NASA/Kim Shiflett

In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Atlas 5 rocket's payload fairing containing NASA's Mars rover Curiosity stands securely atop the transporter that will carry it to Space Launch Complex 41 on Nov. 3, 2011.

NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity

NASA/JPL-Caltech

An artist's concept illustrates what the Mars rover Curiosity will look like on the Red Planet.

James Cameron with Curosity Mast

NASA/JPL

Academy Award-winning director James Cameron (right) inspects engineering model of camera mast for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Cameron is a member of the camera team for the Red Planet mission.

New Mars Rover Takes First Drive ... On Earth

NASA/JPL/Ustream

NASA's next-generation Mars rover, Curiosity, took its first baby steps on Earth today, making two slow drives forward and back on the floor of the clean room where it is being constructed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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