Mars Science Laboratory • formal name of the mission deploying the Curiosity rover • launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Nov. 26, 2011 • After Curiosity, the only planned U.S. mission to Mars is an atmospheric orbiter meant to launch next year.
Mission name: Mars Science Laboratory • Rover name: Curiosity rover • Size: About the size of a small SUV -- 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide and 7 feet tall -- (about 3 meters long (not including the arm), 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall), or about the height of a basketball player. • Arm Reach: About 7 feet (2.2 meters) • Weight: 900 kilograms (2,000 pounds) • Features: Geology lab, rocker-bogie suspension, rock-vaporizing laser and lots of cameras • Mission: To search areas of Mars for past or present conditions favorable for life, and conditions capable of preserving a record of life • Launched:7:02 a.m. PST, Nov. 26, 2011(10:02 a.m. EST) • Landed:10:32 p.m. PDT, Aug. 5, 2012(1:32 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6, 2012) • Length of mission on Mars: The prime mission will last one Mars year or about 23 Earth months.
About Curiosity Rover • Curiosity carries 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the science payloads on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity • Some of the tools are the first of their kind on Mars, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking elemental composition of rocks from a distance. • The rover will use a drill and scoop at the end of its robotic arm to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover
Rover instruments http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity_rover
7 Minutes of Terror http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki_Af_o9Q9s
Curiosity has Landed Video Credit NASA. Video found at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=18895