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Photos from 'The Martian': Space Movie Strands Matt Damon on 'Mars'

Martian - Voyager record

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

The Voyager golden record: Both Voyager spacecraft carry identical copper disks that are specially encoded with sound recordings and images of Earth. Each record is inside a protective aluminum jacket. Symbols on the cover explain the origin of the spacecraft and how to play the record.

Martian - Voyager

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

Launched in 1977, the twin Voyager spacecraft provided new vistas of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Over the course of 12 years, these robotic probes explored and imaged planetary atmospheres, moons, magnetic fields and ring systems. Both probes are now headed out of our solar system. They have measured conditions in interplanetary space and helped determine the extent of the sun's influence. Beyond the solar system, they will study interstellar space. The Voyagers will transmit data as long as their instruments and power supplies hold out.

Martian - Huygens

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

Cassini released the Huygens probe towards Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and the probe successfully landed on the moon's surface in January 2005.

Martian - Cassini

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

A joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Sapce Agency, Cassini began orbiting Saturn in June 2004, carrying 12 instruments. The mission is an intensive study of Saturn's rings, its moons and magnetosphere.

Martian - LDS

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

On the side of the vehicle, under the white cover, is a SIAD (Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators). The SIAD is an inflatable inner tube that inflates around the vehicle and provides additional drag at Mach 4. This is the first stage of deceleration. It increases the size of the vehicle from about four and half meters to six meters in diameter. A 30.5 meter parachute that gets deployed is also under the white cover. For more information: http://www.space.com/25490-mars-landing-inflatable-saucers-incredible-technology.html

Martian - Slopes

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

Slopes test what the rover could drive up. The rover has successfully climbed all of them. However, the steeper the slope is, the slower the rover will make progress. It's digging it's way up.

Martian - Stones

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

Stones for the wheels to go over. This is testing the wheel's skin thickness. The new thickened wheel is running through the same terrain and distance as other MSL wheels and seeing how it fares. The wheel's approaching 30 kilometers with no punctures yet. Other wheels almost saw punctures immediately at a quarter kilometer.

Martian - Round n round

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

This device will continue pushing the wheels in a circle for 3 or 4 months to get 60 kilometers on the wheels. This testing is to see how durable the wheels are.

Martian - Shelf wheels

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

These wheels are the results of testing. Testing is done to break the wheels and make them wear out faster. The wheel that looks badly damaged still performs just like a pristine wheel.

Martian - Curiosity stripped

Olivia Hemaratanatorn/Space.com

This is a stripped down version of Curiosity. The weight of this vehicle is how much the vehicle would weigh on Mars which is about 30-40% weight of the non-stripped down version. It's important for some testing like driving.

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.