23 Jul 2010
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Talk about a growth-spurt. In one week, Curiosity grew by approximately 1 meter (3.5 feet) when spacecraft technicians and engineers attached the rover's neck and head (called the Remote Sensing Mast) to its body. At around 2 meters (about 7 feet) tall, the next rover to Mars now stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Mounted on Curiosity's mast are two navigation cameras (Navcams), two mast cameras (Mastcam), and the laser-carrying chemistry camera (ChemCam).
While it now has a good head on its shoulders, Curiosity's "eyes" (the Mastcam), have been blindfolded in a protective silvery material. The Mastcam, containing two digital cameras, will soon be unveiled, so engineers can test its picture-taking abilities.
Up next today (July 23), the towering rover will take its first baby steps: a slow roll on the floor of the clean room where it's being built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Learn more about Curiosity at: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ .
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.