PIA13806: Bright Days Ahead for Curiosity Mars Rover
Mission: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Spacecraft: Curiosity
Product Size: 1200 x 900 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Other Information: JPL News Release 2011-086
Full-Res TIFF: PIA13806.tif (3.244 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA13806.jpg (130.8 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This image shows preparation for one phase of testing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. The testing during March 2011 in a 25-foot-diameter (7.6-meter-diameter) space-simulation chamber was designed to put the rover through operational sequences in environmental conditions similar to what it will experience on the surface of Mars.

In this March 8, 2011, image, Curiosity is fully assembled with all primary flight hardware and instruments. The test chamber's door is still open. After the door is closed, a near-vacuum environment can be established, and the chamber walls flooded with liquid nitrogen for chilling to minus 130 degrees Celsius (minus 202 degrees Fahrenheit). A bank of powerful lamps simulates sunshine on Mars. The technician in the picture is using a wand to map the solar simulation intensities at different locations in the chamber just prior to the start of the testing.

The space-simulation chamber is at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date:
2011-03-18