Following the parachute braking, at about 1.8 km (Template:Convert/round mi) altitude, still travelling at about 100 m/s (Template:Convert/round mph), the rover and descent stage dropped out of the aeroshell. Hematite, other iron oxides, sulfate minerals, silicate minerals, silica, and possibly chloride minerals were suggested as possible substrates for fossil preservation. , The Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort for the robotic exploration of Mars that is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of California Institute of Technology. Curiosity's first test drive ("Bradbury Landing") (August 22, 2012). As the support and data cables unreeled, the rover's six motorized wheels snapped into position. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Managed by the Mars Exploration Program and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. A navigation computer integrated the measurements to estimate the position and attitude of the capsule that generated automated torque commands. August 6, 2012.  This system consists of a bridle lowering the rover on three nylon tethers and an electrical cable carrying information and power between the descent stage and rover. Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Animation - YouTube  Capable of being deployed at Mach 2.2, the parachute can generate up to 289 kN (Template:Convert/round lbf) of drag force in the Martian atmosphere. This ability to change the pointing of the direction of lift allowed the spacecraft to react to the ambient environment, and steer toward the landing zone. MSL – Pre-Launch Preparations at KSC (Hi-Res Images & Spherical Panoramas), Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey, Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C), Sample Collection for Investigation of Mars (SCIM), Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, List of microorganisms tested in outer space, Search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), Habitability of K-type main-sequence star systems, Enceladus Life Signatures and Habitability, Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets, European Astrobiology Network Association, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mars_Science_Laboratory&oldid=984806092, Short description is different from Wikidata, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, (1) Determine the nature and inventory of, (3) Identify features that may represent the effects of biological processes (, (5) Interpret the processes that have formed and, (6) Assess long-timescale (i.e., 4-billion-year), (7) Determine present state, distribution, and, (8) Characterize the broad spectrum of surface radiation, including. ", "MSL Science Corner: Mars Descent Imager (MARDI)", "MSL Picture of the Day: T-27 Days: instruments: MARDI", "The Photo-Geek's Guide to Curiosity Rover's 17 Cameras", "Suggestion: Stop Improving – Why does every Mars mission have to be better than the last? The target landing site location was an elliptical area 20 by 7 km (12.4 by 4.3 mi). , When the entry phase was complete and the capsule slowed to about 470 m/s (1,500 ft/s) at about 10 km (6.2 mi) altitude, the supersonic parachute deployed, as was done by previous landers such as Viking, Mars Pathfinder and the Mars Exploration Rovers. , MSL was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 on November 26, 2011, at 15:02 UTC via the Atlas V 541 provided by United Launch Alliance.  Due to the Mars-Earth distance at the time of landing and the limited speed of radio signals, the landing was not registered on Earth for another 14 minutes. The Red Planet's surface has been visited by eight NASA spacecraft. Indeed, all are known to facilitate the preservation of fossil morphologies and molecules on Earth. If the specimen warrants further analysis, Curiosity can drill into the boulder and deliver a powdered sample to either the SAM or the CheMin analytical laboratories inside the rover.  The descent stage is a platform above the rover with eight variable thrust monopropellant hydrazine rocket thrusters on arms extending around this platform to slow the descent.  The descent stage is a platform above the rover with eight variable thrust monopropellant hydrazine rocket thrusters on arms extending around this platform to slow the descent.  The heat shield is made of phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA). To contribute to these goals, MSL has eight main scientific objectives:, About one year into the surface mission, and having assessed that ancient Mars could have been hospitable to microbial life, the MSL mission objectives evolved to developing predictive models for the preservation process of organic compounds and biomolecules; a branch of paleontology called taphonomy.  The next month, NASA delayed the launch to late 2011 because of inadequate testing time. The interplanetary trip covered the distance of 352 million miles in 253 days.  Testing and design of components also began in late 2004, including Aerojet's designing of a monopropellant engine with the ability to throttle from 15–100 percent thrust with a fixed propellant inlet pressure..  The rover mission is set to explore for at least 687 Earth days (1 Martian year) over a range of 5 by 20 km (Template:Convert/round by Template:Convert/round mi). During the entire landing phase, the vehicle acts autonomously, based on pre-loaded software and parameters.  A radar altimeter measured altitude and velocity, feeding data to the rover's flight computer. Despite its late hour, particularly on the east coast of the United States where it was 1:31 a.m., the landing generated significant public interest. In some systems, insulating blankets kept sensitive science instruments warmer than the near-absolute zero temperature of space. , The EDL phase of the MSL spaceflight mission to Mars took only seven minutes and unfolded automatically, as programmed by JPL engineers in advance, in a precise order, with the entry, descent and landing sequence occurring in four distinct event phases:. The total cost of the MSL project is about US$2.5 billion.  On July 22, 2011, it was announced that Gale Crater had been selected as the landing site of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Ten minutes before atmospheric entry the aeroshell separated from the cruise stage that provided power, communications and propulsion during the long flight to Mars.  A key task of the cruise stage was to control the temperature of all spacecraft systems and dissipate the heat generated by power sources, such as solar cells and motors, into space. Skip Navigation. Brown, Dwayne; Cole, Steve; Webster, Guy; Agle, D.C. (August 22, 2012). , The spacecraft flight system had a mass at launch of 3,893 kg (8,583 lb), consisting of an Earth-Mars fueled cruise stage (539 kg (1,188 lb)), the entry-descent-landing (EDL) system (2,401 kg (5,293 lb) including 390 kg (860 lb) of landing propellant), and a 899 kg (1,982 lb) mobile rover with an integrated instrument package.. Instead, Curiosity was set down on the Martian surface using a new high-accuracy entry, descent, and landing (EDL) system that was part of the MSL spacecraft descent stage. Each rocket thruster, called a Mars Lander Engine (MLE), produces 400 to 3,100 N (Template:Convert/round to Template:Convert/round lbf) of thrust and were derived from those used on the Viking landers. The Atlas V was also used to launch the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the New Horizons probe. A legged lander would have also required ramps so the rover could drive down to the surface, which would have incurred extra risk to the mission on the chance rocks or tilt would prevent Curiosity from being able to drive off the lander successfully.  The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team were able to acquire an image of the MSL descending under the parachute.. Since the initial size, velocity, density and impact angle of the hardware are known, it will provide information on impact processes on the Mars surface and atmospheric properties. The MSL spacecraft includes spaceflight-specific instruments, in addition to utilizing one of the rover instruments—Radiation assessment detector (RAD)—during the spaceflight transit to Mars. Her Job at NASA Is to Keep It That Way", "Introduction: Mars Science Laboratory: The Next Generation of Mars Landers And The Following 13 articles", American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, "Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation", Scientific Publications by MSL Team Members, MSL – Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) – Animated Video (02:00), MSL – NASA Updates – *REPLAY* Anytime (NASA-YouTube), MSL – Landing Site – Gale Crater – Animated/Narrated Video (02:37), MSL – Mission Summary – Animated/Extended Video (11:20), MSL – Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) – Timeline/ieee. Curiosity is about twice as long and five times as heavy as Spirit and Opportunity, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments.. A legged lander would have also required ramps so the rover could drive down to the surface, which would have incurred extra risk to the mission on the chance rocks or tilt would prevent Curiosity from being able to drive off the lander successfully.  A key task of the cruise stage was to control the temperature of all spacecraft systems and dissipate the heat generated by power sources, such as solar cells and motors, into space.  During the trip to Mars, VxWorks ran applications dedicated to the navigation and guidance phase of the mission, and also had a pre-programmed software sequence for handling the complexity of the entry-descent-landing. Starting July 27, news activities will cover everything from mission engineering and science to returning samples from Mars to, of course, the launch itself. , The EDL phase of the MSL spaceflight mission to Mars took only seven minutes and unfolded automatically, as programmed by JPL engineers in advance, in a precise order, with the entry, descent and landing sequence occurring in four distinct event phases:, The guided entry is the phase that allowed the spacecraft to steer with accuracy to its planned landing site.  Within Gale Crater is a mountain, named Aeolis Mons ("Mount Sharp"), of layered rocks, rising about 5.5 km (18,000 ft) above the crater floor, that Curiosity will investigate. NASA Science Mars Exploration Program.  During the trip to Mars, VxWorks ran applications dedicated to the navigation and guidance phase of the mission, and also had a pre-programmed software sequence for handling the complexity of the entry-descent-landing. Curiosity's touchdown time as represented in the software, based on JPL predictions, was less than 1 second different than reality. , By November 2008 most hardware and software development was complete, and testing continued.
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