©NASA Electronics Production | August 07, 2012
Video: Engineering miracle lands Curiosity on Mars
It has been described as an engineering miracle requiring a long and arduous journey, as well as incredibly complex landing maneuvers. All this to get the robotic geologist MSL on the Red Planet.
Humanity's curiosity is endless, so it fits that NASA's new space mission has been named Curiosity. After a journey that began in late November, MSL, Mars Science Laboratory, was lowered from the braking rocket, and in its last stage, lowered by a sky crane. Once on the surface, the MSL will explore the Red Planet for signs of life. The machine is filled with a multitude of instruments allowing it to cross the planet's surface while investigating and taking mineral samples, filming and scaning for traces of water and life - to name a few of its task. Below is a picture of the instruments on board. The robot is total 2.9 metres tall and weighs 899 kg. All sensors, communication and movement are driven by electrical power fuelled by decaying plutonium. The life of the vessel is estimated to be 687 earth-days before the fuel runs out. © Pictures and video belong to NASA