curiosity (mars rover)

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Mars RoverCuriosity

Operator : NASA International teamWebsite : mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/Mission duration : 1453 days (as of July 29, 2016)Manufacturer : Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Boeing, Lockheed MartinDry mass : 899 kgLaunch date : November 26, 2011, 15:02:00 UTCLanding date : August 6, 2012, 05:17:57 UTC Dimension : 2.9m (l) x 2.7m (w) x 2.2m (h)

History of Rovers

NameCountryDescriptionDateLunokhod 0Russia (Soviet Union)Intended to be the first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon

Crashed during a failed start19 February 1969

NameCountryDescriptionDateLunokhod 1Russia (Soviet Union)first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon

Used to analyse the lunar soil17 November 1970 (landed) 14 September 1971 (last contacted)

NameCountryDescriptionDateApollo 15USAApollo Lunar Roving Vehicle

Analyses the surface material of moon30 July 1971 (landed) 2 August 1971 (Depart)Apollo 16USA21 April 1972 (landed) 24 April 1972 (Depart) Apollo 17USA11 December 1972 (landed) 14 December 1972 (Depart)

NameCountryDescriptionDateLunokhod 2RussiaSecond roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon

Used to analyse the lunar soil15 January 1973 (landed) September 1974 (final contact)

NameCountryDescriptionDateProp-M RoverRussia (Soviet Union)A small 4.5kg Mars rover connected to Soviet Mars 2 or 3 (Mars landers)

Was not deployed due to crash start27 November 1971

NameCountryDescriptionDateMarsokhodRussia (Soviet Union)Was a heavy Soviet rover aimed at Mars

Supposed to be launched by a rocket that never arrived to fly1973

NameCountryDescriptionDateLunokhod 3Russia (Soviet Union)Intended to be the third roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon

Mission was cancelled due to lack of funding1977

NameCountryDescriptionDateSojournerUSAPart of NASAs mission - Mars Pathfinder

First rover to successfully reach another planet4 July 1997 (landed) 27 September 1997 (final data transmission)

NameCountryDescriptionDateSpiritUSAOne of two of NASAs Mars Exploration Rover Mission

Became stuck in late 20094 January 2004 (landed) 22 March 2010 (last communication)

NameCountryDescriptionDateOpportunityUSASpirits twin

Currently holds the record for longest distance travelled on other planet25 January 2004 (landed) - current

NameCountryDescriptionDateCuriosityUSAPart of NASAs Mars Science Laboratory

In search for evidence of past or present life on Mars6 August 2012 (landed) - current

NameCountryDescriptionDateYutuChinaPart of Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (Change 3)

Chinas first lunar rover14 December 2013 (landed) - current

Operation of Curiosity

Powered by electricity produced by the decaying of radioactive isotopesPower source generates 2.5kWh each day and charges two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries Equipped with six 50cm diameter wheelsEach wheel can be steered independently Can withstand a tilt of at least 50 in any direction without overturning, but automatic sensors will limit the rover from exceeding 30 tiltsCapable of climbing slopes up to 12.5 Can travel up to 90 metres per hour but average speed is about 30 metres per hour

Capabilities and Functionality

InstrumentsDescriptionMast Camera (MastCam)Provides two cameras Medium Angle Camera (MAC) & Narrow Angle Camera (NAC)Captures true-colour images at 1600 x 1200 pixels Records 720p video up to 10fpsMAC has a 34mm focal length with a 15 field of viewNAC has a 100mm focal length with a 5.1 field of viewEach camera has eight GB of flash memory

InstrumentsDescriptionChemistry and Camera complex (ChemCam)Consists of Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) & Remote Micro Imager (RMI) telescopeLIBS is used to provide elemental compositions of rock and soilRMI will send images of sampling areas of rock and soil that LIBS targetsLIBS able to target samples up to 7m awayHas the ability to record up to 6144 different wavelengths of light

InstrumentsDescriptionNavigation Cameras (NavCams)Has two pairs of black and white navigation camerasEach have a 45 angle of view Uses visible light to capture stereoscopic 3D imagery

InstrumentsDescriptionRover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS)Comprises instruments to measure the Mars humidity, pressure, temperature, wind speed, and ultraviolet radiation

InstrumentsDescriptionHazard Avoidance Cameras (HazCams)Has four pairs of black and white navigation camerasUsed for safe positioning of the robotic arm on rocks and soilsUses visible light to capture stereoscopic 3D imageryHave a 120 field of view

InstrumentsDescriptionMars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI)A camera situated on the robotic armAcquires microscopic images of rock and soilAble to capture true-colour images at 1600 x 1200 pixelsHas a 33.8 to 38.5 field of view

InstrumentsDescriptionAlpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS)Irradiates samples with alpha particle and maps the spectra of X-rays for determining the composition of samples

InstrumentsDescriptionChemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin)Can identify and quantify the abundance of the minerals on MarsResulting fine powder from drilled rocks is poured into the instrument to be examined via X-rays

InstrumentsDescriptionSample Analysis at Mars (SAM)Analyses organics and gases from atmosphere and soil

InstrumentsDescriptionDust Removal Tool (DRT)A motorised, wire-bristle brush on the end of the robotic armUsed for cleaning rocks for better examination

InstrumentsDescriptionRadiation Assessment Detector (RAD)To characterise the spectrum of radiation environment on the surface of MarsAlso to determine the shielding needs for potential human explorers

InstrumentsDescriptionDynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN)A detector for measuring hydrogen, ice and water on Martian surface

InstrumentsDescriptionMars Descent Imager (MARDI)Allows the mapping of surrounding of the landing locationAble to take colour images at 1600 x 1200 pixels Has a 90 circular field of viewHas eight GB of internal memory Capable to store over 4000 raw images

InstrumentsDescriptionRobotic ArmA 2.1m long robotic arm holding five devicesAble to spin through a 350 turning range Has a mass of 30kgHave mechanisms for scooping, sieving, and portioning samples of rock and soil

Human Machine Interface (HMI)

Uses MSLICE (Mars Science Interface) designed by NASAs Ames Research Centre, Moffett Field, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)Built by using Open Source Software (Eclipse, Java, Rhino, etc)A collaborative software tool that will enable scientists and engineers to view data products from Mars, select targets, prepare rover activities and command sequencesEnsures that mission scientists can work closely with both rover and instrument engineers to create a plan that will maximize scientific data and be safe for the rover to performGenerates detailed commands to be send to the rover

Advantages and Disadvantages of Curiosity (compared with Opportunity)

CuriosityTermsOpportunity899 kgMass 185 kgNuclear-poweredPower SourceSolar-powered 1453 daysMission Duration (as of July 29, 2016)4569 days 14 Total Number of Instruments990m/sTop Speed5cm/s6Types of Camera4160 MHz RAD750CPU20 MHz RAD600050Maximum Tilt (Without Overturning)30

*Bold = Advantage

State of Research and Development

Curiosity has been fully developed and is currently in full working condition on Mars.Curiosity has been on Mars for 1453 total days since landing on August 6, 2012. (as of July 29, 2016)Has a central computer that constantly monitors the health of the spacecraft, checks to make sure commands are being executed, and handles communications to and from Earth as well as to spacecraft orbiting MarsEach day, engineers on Earth send a sequence of computer instructions for the day's activities to the rover

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