Text Size
NES Video Chat: Robots Digging Up Martian Geology
October 5, 2011

Date: October 5, 2011
Time: Noon-1 p.m. EDT
Grade Level: 4-9
STEM Subject Areas: Earth Science and Technology

Students are fascinated with robots, and in this session they were able to ask questions about the next Mars rover, Curiosity, and how it is different from past Martian rovers. This video chat also addressed robot technology, what scientists already have learned about the geology of Mars, and what they are hoping to learn from Curiosity. A video or transcript of the chat will be posted at a later time.

Paulo Younse is a robotics engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. He designs new robotic systems for future NASA missions that will explore the solar system.

NASA is getting ready to launch the new Mars science laboratory called Curiosity this fall. Curiosity will go beyond the "follow-the-water" strategy of recent Mars exploration. It is about twice as long and more than five times as heavy as any previous Mars rover. Its 10 science instruments include two for ingesting and analyzing samples of powdered rock collected by the rover's robotic arm. The rover's science payload can identify other ingredients of life, such as the carbon-based building blocks of biology called organic compounds. A radioisotope power source will provide heat and electric power to the rover.

Career Information:
Robotic Engineer: Robotics engineers design, maintain and develop new applications for robots. They also conduct research to expand the potential of robotics.
› Paulo Younse   →

Related Resources:
› Robonaut   →
› Mars Exploration Program   →
› Curiosity Rover
› Animation Showing Curiosity in Action

Image Token: 
Taken during mobility testing on June 3, 2011, this image is of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, inside the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Image Credit: 
Image Token: 
Page Last Updated: September 18th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator