Mars Curiosity: An Animated Journey
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The rover's upcoming landing on the Red Planet.
In November 2011, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory launched its rover Curiosity from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Still on route, the rover is due to land in the Gale Crater in August later this year after a 254-day journey. The crater, which contains layers of minerals and clay materials, is thought to hold clues to Mars’ past. Curiosity will land in a flat part of the crater and carefully work its way upward, investigating the formation of the planet surface, layer by layer.
This animation from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory predicts the later stages of the rover's journey to Mars and its subsequent landing, before it begins its exploration of the area within and around Gale Crater. The mission is hoped to provide clues to Mars' geology and climate, and help scientists determine whether the planet is capable of supporting microbial life.
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Everything you need to know about our return to the red planet.