This frame from an artist's animation depicts how NASA's Curiosity rover will communicate with Earth during landing. As the rover descends to Mars, it will send out basic radio-frequency tones that go directly to Earth.

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The artist's animation depicts how NASA's Curiosity rover will communicate with Earth during landing. As the rover descends to Mars, it will send out basic radio-frequency tones that go directly to Earth. NASA's Odyssey orbiter will then relay more complex UHF radio signals from the rover to Earth.

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