Mars Curiosity Rover Lands On Mars

Mars Curiosity Rover Lands On Mars

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Synopsis

Mars Science Laboratory better known as, Curiosity, is a Mars rover launched by NASA on November 26, 2011 and landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UTC.The rover’s objectives include searching for past or present life, studying the Martian climate, studying Martian geology, and collecting data for a future manned mission to Mars.

Curiosity is about five times larger than the Spirit or Opportunity Mars exploration rovers, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments. It will attempt a more precise landing than previous rovers, within a landing ellipse of 7 km by 20 km,in the Aeolis Palus region of Gale Crater. This location is near the mountain Aeolis Mons (formerly called “Mount Sharp”). It is designed to explore for at least 687 Earth days (1 Martian year) over a range of 5–20 km (3–12 miles).

Previous NASA Mars rovers became active only after the successful entry, descent and landing on the Martian surface. Curiosity, on the other hand, was active when it touched down on the surface of Mars, employing the rover suspension system for the final set-down.

Curiosity transformed from its stowed flight configuration to a landing configuration while the MSL spacecraft simultaneously lowered it beneath the spacecraft descent stage with a 20 m (66 ft) tether from the “sky crane” system to a soft landing—wheels down—on the surface of Mars.

After the rover touched down it waited 2 seconds to confirm that it was on solid ground then fired several pyrotechnic fasteners activating cable cutters on the bridle to free itself from the spacecraft descent stage. The descent stage then flew away to a crash landing, and the rover prepared itself to begin the science portion of the mission.

Mars Curiosity Rover Lands On Mars

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