It’s the Mars Landing 2012 infographic. On Mars, the rover Curiosity — aka the Mars Science Laboratory — has one serious, overarching goal: Find out if the Mars has ever been habitable for life. As we understand life, that is. To that end, it’s looking for historical signs of water, carbon and other elements essential to life — as well as checking the level of radiation on the ground surface.
This Mars Landing 2012 infographic from Space.Com shows you how Curiosity works.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration
Curiosity is equipped with wide angle cameras. It also carries a drill. And it’s equipped with an infrared laser for analyzing the elements found in rocks. It even will vaporize Martian rock pieces to analyze its liquid plasma. Nuclear batteries power the whole thing.
Thanks to Space.com for this Mars Landing 2012 Infographic.
NASA has a countdown for the Monday ET (and Earth time) landing here. According to NASA, the mission is on course. At NASA’s site, reps posted the following:
With less than three days to go before touchdown on the Red Planet, Curiosity remains in good health, with all systems operating as expected. Given the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft’s consistent and stable course, today the project decided that the planned Trajectory Correction Maneuver 5 (TCM-5) and its corresponding update to parameters for the autonomous software controlling events during entry, descent and landing will not be necessary. As of 12:35 p.m. today PDT (3:35 p.m. EDT), the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was approximately 468,000 miles (753,200 kilometers) from Mars, or a little less than twice the distance from Earth to the moon. It is traveling at about 8,000 mph (3,576 meters per second). It will gradually increase in speed to about 13,200 mph (5,900 meters per second) by the time it reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere.