Side-by-side images depict NASAs Curiosity rover (left) and a moon buggy driven during the Apollo 16 mission.

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Side-by-side images depict NASA's Curiosity rover (left) and a moon buggy driven during the Apollo 16 mission.

Moon buggies were used during the Apollo missions to carry astronauts, lunar samples and equipment. During the Apollo 17 mission, that equipment included the Traverse Gravimeter Experiment (TGE), a special instrument for measuring gravity. Curiosity wasn't sent to Mars with gravimeters, but it does have accelerometers that are used to navigate the rover. A paper in Science published on Jan. 31, 2019, details how these sensors were repurposed to measure the gravitational pull of Mount Sharp, the mountain Curiosity has been climbing since 2014.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

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