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Photos: Gale Crater on Mars, Curiosity Rover's Landing Site

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.

Heavy-Lift Helicopter Inspires NASA’s New Mars Lander

NASA/JPL, Corby Waste

Sky Crane illustrated lowering Mars Sample Return spacecraft. Image

Mars Science Laboratory: Big Wheels on A Red Planet

NASA/JPL

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will be much larger than NASA's two Mars Exploration Rovers that began exploring the red planet in early 2004. Image

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.

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.

Earth Microbes Not Likely to Contaminate Mars, Scientists Say

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This image shows the Mars rover Curiosity being assembled in one of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's 'clean rooms.' The team members are all dressed in special head-to-toe white suits.

NASA's Next Mars Rover, Curiosity, Is an Internet Star

NASA/JPL-CalTech

NASA's Curiosity Cam allows the public to watch technicians assemble and test NASA's next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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.

Testing the Mars Science Laboratory Rover, Curiosity

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Testing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. Evaluations during March included use of a space-simulation chamber designed to put the rover through operational sequences in environmental conditions similar to what it will experience on the surface of Mars.

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).

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