Mars Rover Curiosity Preps for Entry, Descent and Landing

With Curiosity now flying under the control of the autonomous entry, descent and landing timeline, the Mars Science Laboratory team continues to monitor the spacecraft's health and trajectory. There are no real-time activities planned today. In the event that a fifth trajectory correction maneuver is needed to further fine-tune the spacecraft's course to reach its target landing ellipse, the flight team is making preparations for it. If needed, that maneuver would be executed on Friday, Aug. 3. Curiosity remains in good health, with no significant issues currently in work.

Mars Rover Curiosity
This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity is being tested in preparation for launch in the fall of 2011. In this picture, the mast, or rover's "head," rises to about 2.1 meters (6.9 feet) above ground level, about as tall as a basketball player. This mast supports two remote-sensing instruments: the Mast Camera, or "eyes," for stereo color viewing of surrounding terrain and material collected by the arm; and, the ChemCam instrument, which is a laser that vaporizes material from rocks up to about 9 meters (30 feet) away and determines what elements the rocks are made of. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.


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