NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover, named Curiosity, is set to land on Mars on August 5, 2012 at 10:31 PM PST.
An artist’s conception of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, named Curiosty, on Mars. Curiosity is equipped with a Raman spectrometer, which consists of a laser beam that enables it to discern the chemical composition of the targeted area.
NASA has recently tightened Curiosity’s landing ellipse to put it closer to the science objective, which is a large uplift structure (mountain) called Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp) in the center of Gale Crater.
Mars Science Laboratory’s landing ellipse has been tightened to place the rover closer to the science objective—Mount Sharp, which is a layered mountain near the center of Gale Crater
Gale Crater is 154 km (96 mi) in diameter and is located in the Aeolis quadrangle at 5.4°S 137.8°E (see map).
NASA’s Robonaut 2 (robotic astronaut), which is called R2 for short, was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2011. Last week, R2 came to life and greeted Commander Dan Burbank with the first “man-robot” handshake in space.
First Robonaut-Astronaut Handshake
R2 can controlled by telepresence either from Earth or from the ISS. R2 runs on 38 PowerPC processors and has over 350 sensors which makes it extremely dextrous and able to sense its surroundings.