Curiosity Antoine Henderson Fiona Ward
Launch and Landing • Launched: • November 26, 2011 • Cape Canaveral, Florida • Landed: August 6, 2012 • August 6, 2012 • Aeolis Palus, Gale Crater
Objectives • Biological • Determine the nature and inventory of organic carbon compounds. • Inventory the chemical building blocks of life. • Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorous, Sulfur • Identify features that may represent the effects of biological processes. • Geological and Geochemical • Investigate the chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical composition of the Martian surface and near-surface geological materials. • Interpret the processes that have formed and modified rocks and soils.
Objectives • Planetary Processes • Assess long-timescale atmospheric evolution processes. • Determine present state, distribution, and cycling of water and carbon dioxide. • Surface Radiation • Characterize the broad spectrum of surface radiation, including galactic cosmic radiation, solar proton events, and secondary neutrons.
Goals • Determine Possibility of Ancient Life on Mars • Conditions Needed for Life to Thrive • Looking for Life Signs • Characterizethe Climate of Mars • What's the Martian Climate Like Today? • What Can the Current Climate on Mars Reveal about the Past? • Characterize the Geology of Mars • The Magnetism of Mars Gives Clues to the Planet's Interior and More • Rocks on Mars Can Tell Us About the Planet's History and Its Potential for Harboring Life • Prepare for Human Exploration • Astronaut Safety in the Hostile Martian Environment • Robotic Spacecraft Will Pave the Way for Human Exploration of Mars
Technology • Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) • Mass: 899kg • 2.9m x 2.7m x 2.2m • Power Source: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) • Computers: Rover Computer Element (RCE) • Robotic arm • Communications: X band transmitter and receiver, UHF Electra-Lite software-defined radio • Mobility: Rocker-Bogie system • 17 cameras: • HazCams(8), NavCams (4), MastCams (2), MAHLI (1), MARDI (1), and ChemCam (1).
Accomplishments • Atmospheric Composition • Mars has no traces of Methane. • Rock Samples • Discovery of Streambed Gravel • Evidence of Flowing Water • Curiosity Identifies Traces of: • Sulfur • Nitrogen • Hydrogen • Oxygen • Phosphorous • Carbon Ancient Streambed