Photos: Curiosity Rover, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Science Laboratory: Engineers, Scientists Tackle Challenges

NASA/JPL/Corby Waste

The rover is to be powered by nuclear generator (not shown in this drawing) permitting the Mars machinery a long range ability to explore science targets.

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project manager Pete Theisinger


Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project manager Pete Theisinger, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

NASA Advised to Revamp Mars Plans


A National Academies study group recommends delaying an Astrobiology Field Laboratory until 2018. Doing so would allow more time to consider the output from prior Mars missions, including the Mars Science Laboratory now being readied for 2009 liftoff.

JPL technicians work on Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity

Mike Wall

Technicians at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory work on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in May 2011. The rover is upside-down, and its six wheels are off (they rest on a table, at far right of the photo).

Mars Sample Return Proposal Stirs Excitement, Controversy

NASA/JPL/Corby Waste.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. To be launched in 2009, MSL is now being eyed for sample caching duties on the red planet as part of a revived NASA Mars sample return initiative.

Once-Habitable Lake Found on Mars

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Scientists on the HiRISE team have discovered what mighe be a once-habitable ancient lake on Mars at Holden crater. This shows part of the outside rim of Holden crater.

Giant Mars Rover Parachute Passes Key Test

NASA/Ames Research Center/JPL

The parachute for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory passed flight-qualification testing in March and April 2009 inside the world's largest wind tunnel, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Mars Rover Curiosity Hoisted Atop Atlas 5 Rocket


In this still from a NASA video, the Mars rover Curiosity, encased in its payload fairing, is hoisted up to be placed atop its Atlas 5 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Nov. 3, 2011.

NASA Adds Video Camera To Next Mars Rover

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) camera will fly on the Curiosity rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. The downward-looking camera will take about four frames per second at nearly 1,600 by 1,200 pixels per frame for about the final two minutes before Curiosity touches down on Mars in August 2012. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, Calif., supplied MARDI and two other camera instruments for the mission. A pocketknife provides scale for the image.

Preparing Mars Science Laboratory Heat Shield

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, prepare the heat shield for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, in this April 2011 photo.

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