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One year after launch, Curiosity rover busy on Mars

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
The NASA Mars rover Curiosity began its flight to Mars on Nov. 26, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., tucked inside the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft. One year after launch and 16 weeks since its dramatic landing on target inside Gale Crater, Curiosity has returned more than 23,000 raw images, driven 1,696 feet (517 meters) and begun helping researchers better understand the area's environmental history.

Part of a mosaic of images taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the NASA Mars rover Curiosity while the rover was working at a site called "Rocknest" in October and November 2012.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity began its flight to Mars on Nov. 26, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., tucked inside the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft. One year after launch and 16 weeks since its dramatic landing on target inside Gale Crater, Curiosity has returned more than 23,000 raw images, driven 1,696 feet (517 meters) and begun helping researchers better understand the area's environmental history.

The car-size rover is at a site called "Point Lake" overlooking lower ground to the east, where the rover team intends to find a target for first use of Curiosity's rock-sampling drill.

During a two-year prime mission, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 science instruments to assess whether the study area in Gale Crater ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ . You can follow the mission on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "One year after launch, Curiosity rover busy on Mars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127145654.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2012, November 27). One year after launch, Curiosity rover busy on Mars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127145654.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "One year after launch, Curiosity rover busy on Mars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127145654.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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