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Latest NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission Stories

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2011-12-03 12:04:04

Excellent launch precision for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission has forestalled the need for an early trajectory correction maneuver, now not required for a month or more. That first of six planned course adjustments during the 254-day journey from Earth to Mars had originally been scheduled for 15 days after the mission's Nov. 26 launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Now, the correction maneuver will not be performed until later in December or possibly...

Image 1 - Reliable Nuclear Device To Heat, Power Mars Science Lab
2011-11-22 04:33:19

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is scheduled to launch this week, has the potential to be the most productive Mars surface mission in history. That's due in part to its nuclear heat and power source. When the rover Curiosity heads to space as early as Saturday, it will carry the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars' surface. Those instruments will get their lifeblood from a radioisotope power system assembled and tested at Idaho National Laboratory. The...

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2011-06-22 10:07:48

Southern California's high desert has been a stand-in for Mars for NASA technology testing many times over the years. And so it is again, in a series of flights by an F/A-18 aircraft to test the landing radar for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. The flight profile is designed to have the F/A-18 climb to 40,000 feet (about 12,000 meters). From there, it makes a series of subsonic, stair-step dives at angles of 40 to 90 degrees to simulate what the Mars radar will see while the...

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2010-11-16 13:41:03

NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity, will wield an arm-mounted magnifying camera similar to one on the Mars Rover Opportunity, which promptly demonstrated its importance for reading environmental history from rocks at its landing site in 2004. Within a few weeks after the landing, that camera at the end of Opportunity's arm revealed details of small spheres embedded in the rocks, hollows where crystals had dissolved, and fine layering shaped like smiles. These details all provided information...

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2010-09-14 08:20:00

The rover Curiosity, which NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will place on Mars in August 2012, has been rolling over ramps in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to test its mobility system. Curiosity uses the same type of six-wheel, rocker-bogie suspension system as previous Mars rovers, for handling uneven terrain during drives.  Its wheels are half a meter (20 inches) in diameter, twice the height of the wheels on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers currently on...

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2010-07-02 08:00:00

NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity, is sitting pretty on a set of spiffy new wheels that would be the envy of any car show on Earth. The wheels and a suspension system were added this week by spacecraft technicians and engineers. These new and important touches are a key step in assembling and testing the flight system in advance of a planned 2011 launch. Curiosity, centerpiece of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, is a six-wheeler and uses a rocker-bogie suspension system like its...

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2010-06-29 07:02:33

NASA's Curiosity rover, coming together for a late 2011 launch to Mars, has a newly installed component: a key onboard X-ray instrument for helping the mission achieve its goals. Researchers will use Curiosity in an intriguing area of Mars to search for modern or ancient habitable environments, including any that may have also been favorable for preserving clues about life and environment. The team assembling and testing Curiosity at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.,...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.
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