National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
RPS: Radioisotope Power Systems
Return to Solar System Exploration
Explore with radioisotope-powered missions in 3D. EYES on the SOLAR SYSTEM.
Before visiting this website, did you know NASA uses nuclear power for some missions that explore the solar system?




NEWS & FEATURES
One Year After Launch, Curiosity Rover Busy on Mars
26 Nov 2012
(Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Curiosity image of Gale Crater
This panorama is 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. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

PASADENA, Calif. - 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.

Original source with additional images >

Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Leonard Dudzinski
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Editor: Preston Dyches
Webmaster: Sandra Cosic, Maryia Davis
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 28 Nov 2012