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Curiosity Rovers Payload Fairing
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Curiosity Rover's Payload Fairing

August 1, 2012
The dual sections of the Atlas V payload fairing for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission await further processing in the airlock of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The fairing will protect the spacecraft from the impact of aerodynamic pressure and heating during ascent and will be jettisoned once the spacecraft is outside the Earth's atmosphere. Image credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis