- It is part of a long term robotic exploration of the "Red Planet".
- Its size is coined a "mini-Cooper". It is much bigger than the Sojourner that landed in 1997. Sojourner was part of the Pathfinder mission:) It was about the size of a microwave oven. Curiosity is twice as long and four times heavier than Spirit and Opportunity that landed in 2004.
- Curiosity will land near the foot of a mountain taller than Pike's Peak.
- It will use tools to examine rocks, soil, and the atmosphere. It has cameras to study things far off and to study items that it comes in contact with. There are also tools that will analyze the composition of rock and soil samples.
- As the Curiosity lands, a parachute will deploy to slow its descent, then a rocket-powered backpack will lower the rover on a tether during its final moments. This is different from previous landings where they used airbags. Curiosity is much heavier, so they had to make adjustments for the heavier object.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Curiosity Set to Land
Curiosity is set to land on Mars Monday, August 6th. Here are some interesting facts about the Rover.