June 13, 2011
Spacecraft specialists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., have been putting the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, through various tests in preparation for shipment to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida this month.
A new set of images online shows the rover maneuvering its robotic arm and driving in JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility, where it was built. The images are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/index.html .
Assembly and testing work is on track for launch of the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., during the period from Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, 2011.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. This mission will land Curiosity on Mars in August 2012. Researchers will use the tools on the rover to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and favorable for preserving clues about whether life existed. More information about the mission is online at: http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ .
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.