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NASA new animation depicts Mars Rover 'Curiosity' in action
Posted On: Jun 27, 2011
An artistic concept represents NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Photo: NASA/JPL
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory has formed an animated version of its Mars rover Curiosity mission, which has detailed views of the spacecraft with scenes of real places on Mars, based on stereo images taken by earlier missions.
The rover will leave Earth until late this year and will land on Mars until August 2012.
The 11-minute animation shows different sequences of the spacecraft separating from its launch vehicle near Earth and the mission's rover, Curiosity, zapping rocks with a laser and examining samples of powdered rock on Mars.
According to NASA, Curiosity's landing will use a different method than any previous Mars landing, with the rover suspended on tethers from a rocket-backpack "sky crane."
"It is a treat for the 2,000 or more people who have worked on the Mars Science Laboratory during the past eight years to watch these action scenes of the hardware the project has developed and assembled," Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager Pete Theisinger at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, said.
In August 2012, Curiosity will land on Mars for a two-year mission to examine whether conditions in the landing area have been favourable for microbial life and for preserving evidence about whether life has existed there.
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